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Investments in small and medium enterprises focus on a particular set of clients, usually defined by annual sales but also by loan amount. Small and medium enterprises have specific funding needs in terms of their business growth. The monetary cut-off for classifying a company as a small and medium enterprise generally varies greatly by country, by market, and by financial institution.

Although less complex than for large corporate and project investments, the environmental and social issues associated with small and medium enterprises can be quite significant and are primarily related to worker health and safety and pollution. These environmental and social issues may not be closely monitored and the risks will vary depending on company size and its capacity to manage environmental and social risks, as well as by industry sector, and location.

Financial institutions that lend or invest in small and medium enterprises generally try to develop long-term relationships, which may further expose lenders/investors to environmental and social issues associated with the enterprise, posing financial and liability risks. Due to the visibility of small and medium enterprises in a community, reputational risk is also a factor.

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