Generali and UNDP come together to reduce the protection gap for vulnerable communities

25 September 2023

  • “Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund” launched together with Generali, searching for innovative insurance solutions to boost economic resilience in Malaysia
  • Generali also expands, together with UNDP, its flagship SME EnterPRIZE project to Asia

Rome – Generali and UNDP brought together representatives of the EU Commission - Directorate General for International Partnerships, the Malaysian Embassy to Italy and the Operating Committee for the G7 Italian Presidency for a solution focused discussion on how to boost resilience in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) against climate change.
During the event, the “Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund” was launched, which will facilitate and incentivise the development and launch of innovative insurance products and services in Malaysia through an open selection process in the country, which will then, for the winners, provide $100,000 USD for the first year to support the development of insurance solutions, including financial and technical support.

This meeting built on the partnership established between Generali and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to reduce the protection gap for vulnerable communities worldwide, through access to insurance and risk finance solutions. These conversations are part of a broader commitment to raise awareness, as well set the path for insurance to unlock security for SMEs in developing countries.

Generali and UNDP are already developing a loss prevention framework for SMEs to leverage the power of data, awareness and understanding of risks for businesses in vulnerable communities. In addition to the “Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund”, there will also be an Asian edition of Generali’s flagship SME EnterPRIZE project, which has already successfully been running in Europe over the past 2 years.

Generali and UNDP initiatives start in Asia

Jaime Anchústegui Melgarejo, CEO International of Generali, said: “SMEs are the bedrock of the Asian economy, yet despite their contribution to socio-economic growth development, they remain highly vulnerable to risks. Insurance provides the safeguard that businesses need to flourish in the face of those risks, boosting economic development and prosperity. This innovative partnership with UNDP is seeing Generali utilise its expertise from across the world, and locally in Asia, to help boost an insurance culture which will be essential for the region’s future success.”

The SME resilience activities carried out by UNDP and Generali in Asia are being developed with the primary focus of the Malaysian market in respect to the loss prevention framework and the Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund.

The Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund is being launched to support the development of innovative insurance solutions in Malaysia through a selection process open to businesses in that country. The fund is seeking value added solutions, such as services or distribution, which can boost the attractiveness of insurance in Malaysian SMEs, boosting overall resilience. The open contest will then involve the allocation of up to $100,000 USD for the development of the solution.
The loss prevention framework, which will be launched in the next months, will be hosted via an online platform, offering advice for businesses on how to protect their activity in the face of climate challenges.
The SME EnterPRIZE Asia edition will be focused on countries across the Asia region, with the programme expanding geographically, building on the engagement that Generali has carried out with thousands of SMEs from across Europe, to celebrate and boost a culture of sustainability in those businesses.

The broader Generali-UNDP partnership

Generali, as a responsible corporate citizen, is strongly committed to public-private partnerships and to supporting through its expertise public bodies to reach their objectives. Through the partnership, Generali and UNDP will contribute towards the InsuResilience Vision 2025, which include: reaching 500 million of vulnerable people, covering them against climate and disaster shocks, covering 150 million vulnerable people through microinsurance solutions, putting insurance innovation at the heart of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.
The next months will see UNDP and Generali issue the first parametric insurance framework for alignment criteria to the overall SDG Agenda, which will be followed by a Generali commitment on the parametric solutions supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The two organisations will also work to boost research and advocacy with important stakeholders, with dedicated moments including the European launch of the Human Development Report in early 2024.
There will also be an exchange of development tools and expertise across the two organisations.

Jan Kellett, Team Leader, UNDP's Insurance and Risk Finance Facilitysaid: “As the hazards and shocks driven by our changing climate become increasingly frequent, the role of insurance to protect low-income communities has never been more critical. With the Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund in Malaysia, UNDP and Generali are venturing into new territories of insurance products and markets, harnessing the power of innovation to build the financial resilience of the small and medium business community, the bedrock of employment and economic growth. In leveraging the significant expertise and experience of the insurance industry, exemplified by Generali, this public-private partnership has the potential to foster economic development, resilience, and prosperity in regions like Asia.