The Sustainable Development Goals and Ethical Finance
This event ran as a full day workshop at Durham University. The event was led by a variety of internationally leading academics on the topic of SDGs and Ethical Finance. The event had four sessions in total.
In the first session Prof. Ahmet Aysan discussed the challenges and opportunities for SMEs and participative banks in Turkey in progressing towards SDGs. He discussed the results of his paper ‘Is Small the New Big? Islamic Banking for SMEs in Turkey’ where Islamic banks (known as Participation banks in Turkey) were found to be more inclined toward financing SMEs than conventional banks, and the quality of Islamic banks’ SME loan portfolios were found to be comparable to that of conventional banks.
This was followed by Prof. Aysan and Prof. Omneya Abdelsalam, where they presented the results of a global analysis of firms’ SDGs performance. Their analysis covered a global sample of 4,643 firms (34,177 firm year observations) across 43 countries. They had many findings that they presented, including that firm size, visibility, stability and profitability are contributing factors to superior performance towards the SDGs. Moreover, they document a negative relationship between institutional ownership and SDG performance and a positive (negative) relationship with SDG performance when the ultimate shareholder is the government (private). They also note a significantly positive relationship between SDG performance and country governance indicators (i.e., rule of law, regulatory quality, and voice and accountability).
In session two, Professors Kabir Hassan and Habib Ahmed covered the challenges and opportunities for the Ethical Finance industry in contributing towards SDG goals. They argued that SDGs will require an unprecedented mobilisation of resources to support their implementation due to their transformative and sustainable nature. They then discussed how ethical finance supports socially inclusive and development promoting activities, hence, this sector has great potential to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs as well as challenges it could face.
In session 3, Putu Agus Ardiana, Xinwu He and Dr Raluca Sandu discussed sustainable development in different contexts, including sustainable finance in Indonesia, CSR reporting in China, and the impact USaid had in post-communist economies, particularly Romania, respectively.
Finally, Professor Tortosa Ausina discussed the potential role that the ethical funds industry could have in contributing towards SDGs, based on his current research where 1,587 socially responsible mutual funds performance were compared.
Please contact us here if you would like to receive any of the presentations listed above.