Empowering Local Businesses Globally: UNDP and DFINITY Team Up for Financial Inclusion

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has joined forces with the DFINITY Foundation in a landmark collaboration aimed at empowering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) around the world. This partnership will focus on developing and implementing a secure and reliable digital credentialing system known as the Universal Trusted Credentials (UTC) initiative.

Strengthening Trust for Cross-Border Trade

The core of the UTC framework lies in establishing trust between businesses. Originally developed with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the program aims to simplify access to trade financing for MSMEs across participating countries. By leveraging secure digital credentials, the initiative seeks to increase trust in the data provided by businesses, ultimately facilitating cross-border transactions.

Blockchain Technology for a Sustainable Future

The DFINITY Foundation, the driving force behind the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) blockchain, will contribute its expertise in decentralized computing and digital identity solutions. The Internet Computer’s secure and tamper-proof data infrastructure is considered a crucial element for the success of the UTC initiative.

Empowering MSMEs Through Innovation

Marcos Neto, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, emphasizes the transformative potential of this partnership: “The collaboration with the DFINITY Foundation marks a pivotal moment… to advance digital inclusion and economic empowerment for MSMEs.” He highlights the role of secure digital credentials in driving “sustainable development and economic growth.”

DFINITY Backs Sustainable Development Goals

Tech leader Dominic Williams, founder of the DFINITY Foundation, believes the UTC initiative holds immense promise for various economic sectors. He states, “MSMEs represent the backbone of most economies… the UTC initiative represents a unique opportunity… to bring transparency and increase inclusion.” By harnessing the power of the Internet Computer’s blockchain technology, the project will benefit from extensive research and expertise in cryptography and digital identity.

Scaling the Impact Beyond Borders

This collaboration extends beyond Cambodia, serving as a pilot program for a wider rollout. Following the initial implementation, the project plans to expand to ten additional countries, offering its advantages to a broader range of MSMEs globally. This initiative aligns with the UNDP’s wider strategy of utilizing technological innovation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve the living standards of vulnerable populations.


The UNDP and DFINITY Foundation’s partnership presents a promising approach to fostering financial inclusion and economic growth for small businesses worldwide. By leveraging secure digital credentials and blockchain technology, the UTC initiative has the potential to empower MSMEs, streamline cross-border trade, and contribute to achieving broader development goals.