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Simon C. Bell

Global Lead on SME Finance, World Bank Group


Simon Bell is the Global Lead for SME Finance in the Finance and Markets Global Practice of the World Bank. He works closely on SME issues with colleagues in the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, the Financial Institutions Group of the IFC, the Advisory Services unit of the IFC, and the SME Finance Forum.

Previously, Simon was Sector Manager in the Finance and Private Sector unit of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region of the World Bank. A large component of the lending in the MENA region was financing of SMEs. Prior to joining MENA Simon occupied a similar management position in the South Asia region in the World Bank. He also worked in the Africa region for eight years on FSD and PSD issues. Four years of this period he spent working in the World Bank’s Mozambique Field Office.

Before joining the World Bank, Simon worked in the research department of the Central Bank of Botswana – working on monetary policy and financial sector issues. Prior to that he worked in the Ministry of Finance in Papua New Guinea for four years and at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

Simon has a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of New England, NSW, Australia. Simon has supervised large volumes of World Bank lending – covering issues such as central bank restructuring, banking sector reform, SME and micro finance, infrastructure finance, housing finance, early stage innovation finance, finance for jobs, private sector development, tourism, and development policy lending. He is keenly interested in innovation – and particularly the very rapid growth of finTech industries in Crowd Funding, Peer to Peer lending, Social/Development Impact Bonds, psychometric testing and big data.