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'economics with a concentration in banking and finance' - Master in Finance

find_me_steffi 1 / -  
Jan 10, 2012   #1
Dear All, feel free to comment my Statement of Purpose.

A 500-700 word document outlining your academic and research background and interests, as well as how you feel you will benefit from your participation in the university.

My undergraduate background is economics with a concentration in banking and finance. I have shown a big interest in Banking for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) since I was in the university. During my undergraduate study, I read about Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2006), the founder of Grameen Bank who inspires me about enhancing microfinance in Indonesia. He has proved to the world that banks can earn profit and help economic condition of a country at the same time through microfinance, something that is still ignored by many banks nowadays.

After graduate, I worked as an account officer of a private commercial bank that handled credit for range USD 50.000 up to USD 5 million which called SME segment. After two years worked in SME segment, I moved to a bigger scale of credit, namely Commercial Segment. Furthermore, the credit ranges from USD 5 million up to USD 50 million. In conclusion, both segments of credit have different consideration in giving loan. SME segment works on collateral-basis, while Commercial segment works on cash-flow basis. However, what I can conclude from those experiences is banks do not fully support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. They are told to do so by the government through many actions to encourage the banks, in fact the practicality does not go as smooth as the theory. Many potential enterprises do not get the loan because banks prefer to invest their fund in risk-free instrument (e.g. Certificate of Bank Indonesia). Hence, my research will be related to the banks' role in promoting SMEs in terms of access to finance. Through my research, I am eager to be able to understand how big the influence of access to finance in boosting SMEs. At the end, I wish the result will be useful as an input for the parties who involved in promoting SMEs, including the commercial banks in Indonesia.

Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of Europe's economy. They cover for over 98% of business and contribute two third of the total private employment. Due the awareness of the substance of SMEs, European Union (EU) on 2008 enacted Small Business Act (SBA) which aims to help SMEs to access finance and market and finally can boost the economic condition of EU. In addition, many actions have been done regarding better access to finance such as provide microcredit guarantees which managed by European Investment Fund and earmark €30 billion in a form of long term lending bank which managed by European Investment Bank (EIB). Those facts are reflections on how serious EU in promoting SMEs and it is convinced me to take my master degree in Europe regarding my great interest in micro financing. After do some research, I have found that characteristics of SMEs in Indonesia have similarity to the characteristic of SMEs in Spain; for instance , SMEs in both countries contribute more than 50% to country's GDP namely Indonesia for 56.67% (2011) and Spain for 64.30% (2011). Moreover, governments in both countries have conducted some programs to boost SMEs performance; for instance, join with the local and rural banks to provide loan to SMEs and encourage the young entrepreneurs through "The entrepreneurs Action Plan" (Spain) and " Wirausaha Muda Mandiri" (Indonesia). Besides, they face similar obstacles in supporting SMEs for example the bureaucracy to set up business and the inclined of banks to provide loan to SMEs. Thus, it would be a perfect starting point for me to enhance my knowledge about banking industry especially microfinance by taking master degree in Barcelona Graduate School of economics; a degree that awarded by Universitat Pompeu Fabra which known as one of top-ranked-universities in Spain. In addition, Barcelona GSE is also supported by La Caxia, a saving bank in Europe that has partnership with EU to provide micro loan. Apparently, I will have a chance to learn directly from the institution about the real application of assistance to SMEs. Furthermore, Barcelona as the city itself will bring another pleasure beyond the first-class-education offered by Barcelona GSE.

All of your comments will mean so much. Thank you.

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