Inclusive Finance

Regional revitalization: Support the transformation and upgrading of characteristic industries in Taiwan, promote the balanced development of urban and rural areas, and shine a spotlight on the local economy.

There are many industrial clusters with local characteristics in Taiwan. However, due to remoteness and lack of job opportunities, local populations continue to migrate to urban areas, causing worker shortage in local industries. The lack of counseling resources also makes it difficult for local enterprises to transform. To cultivate characteristic industries in Taiwan. E.SUN has been leading the industry in launching the "Regional Revitalization team" since 2018. According to the needs and potential of local industry players, E.SUN coordinates head office units and branch teams in the design of financial counseling programs. Furthermore, E.SUN followed government policy, continued to expand the scope of projects, linking partners across different sectors and combining the strengths of industry, government, academia, and research to create unique programs with adequate funds, resources, counseling, and technology. Replenished and invigorated by timely financing, these unique businesses, resulted from the younger generation's effort, were able to grow and prosper in the familiar surroundings of their hometowns.

In 2021, E.SUN began spreading the positive influence of the financial sector, placing focus on two main axes: "Supporting Local Industry Upgrade" and "Encouraging Young People to Start a Business in their Hometown." E.SUN co-organized an "Online Financial Placemaking Seminar" with the government's local incubator unit, and developed a service that offers both advisory and financing solutions for "young people returning to their hometown" and "local businesses," thus facilitating the spread of financial services across the whole of Taiwan to support the development of local industries and young people.

Social innovation enterprises: Provide social innovation funds, financial guidance, and marketing resources, and work with academia to cultivate future stars of social enterprises to spread the power of making a difference in our society.

Social entrepreneurial enterprises are mostly in the early stage in Taiwan. Due to insufficient visibility, lack of experience, or weak financial structures, it's hard for them to acquire or integrate recourses and expand the business scale.

E.SUN is committed to developing one-stop financial services to satisfy the needs of those who have been neglected in traditional banking and provide a banking-friendly environment that is characterized by three stages: "budding, growth, and stability." In addition to planning the "Smile & Hope Loan" with Taipei City Department of Economic Development, in 2021, E.SUN devoted our efforts in academic cultivation programs, becoming one of the sponsors the "6th Yunus Award: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition," which was organized by the Yunus Social Business Centre of National Central University. This competition had attracted 142 teams and was focused on the topic "circular economy." One of the participating teams, REcarbon proposed a solution to climate change: linking credit card spending to carbon footprint and converting it to points, which can be used to help disadvantaged individuals and contribute to the society. With this idea, REcarbon won second place in the competition as well as E.SUN's Excellence in Sustainable Development Award. Through this, E.SUN joins the academic community to cultivate seeds of social enterprises, exert a positive influence, and support the development of social innovation.

■ Pandemic Relief

For a period of time in 2021, Taiwan was placed under Level 3 epidemic warning nationwide. Many businesses ran into difficulties, thereby adversely affecting the incomes and livelihoods of their employees. In support of government policy, E.SUN promptly set up a task force to provide businesses and their employees with relief loans. Meanwhile, digital technology was introduced for devising an online application process and the delivery of zero-contact financial services to spare customers the risk of infection.

■ Labor Relief

To help pandemic-inflicted people secure funds quickly, E.SUN established a fully online, zero- contact process for filing and reviewing applications, signing contracts, and releasing loans. From loan application to loan release, it used to be a three-day process. Now it only takes less than one hour. With up to 10,000 loan releases a day, our 24/7 automatic loan release system ensures customer access to capital anytime, anywhere. In 2021, E.SUN process more than 110,000 labor relief loan applications in a single month. While 94.8% of such applications were filed online, total approved loan amounts rose over 50% from last year.

■ Business Relief

Likewise, priority was given to speeding up the loan application process while minimizing the risk of infection from interpersonal contact. Taking its lead from the relief 2.0 initiatives of government agencies, E.SUN immediately set up a special section on its website for the downloading of application documents. Meanwhile, an online platform was installed for applicants to make appointments so as to avoid a big crowd at a single location. In 2021, E.SUN had assisted a total of 5,375 businesses in securing relief funds and deferrals for paying back existing loans to tide over an unusually difficult time.

■ Outcomes of inclusive finance