Castries, Saint Lucia, October 20, 2015—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with support from Canada’s Department
of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and in collaboration
with the Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB), today launched a workshop
in Castries to help Caribbean financial institutions better serve the banking
needs of small and medium enterprises.
The Caribbean is home to approximately
2.2 million micro, small and medium enterprises, which are essential to
creating jobs and providing goods and services.Yet one third of these entrepreneurs
identify access to credit as a key obstacle to growing their businesses.
“SMEs are a fast growing sector and
the engine of growth in many economies. The CAB therefore, supports every
effort to provide training and build capacity within the sector,” said
Ms. Joanna Charles, President of the Caribbean Association of Banks. “Banks
are encouraged to consider SME financing as one of their top strategic
The World Bank Group Enterprise Risk
Surveys identify access to finance as one of the top three constraints
for businesses in most English-speaking Caribbean countries. The goal of
the training is to strengthen the capacity of banks in these countries
to serve small and medium entrepreneurs by building their skills in key
areas and sharing best practices and lessons from similar regions. This
includes training in how to develop a business model and strategy for attracting
small and medium enterprises, credit risk management for these portfolios,
and human resource needs for lending to small and medium enterprises.
“IFC is committed to supporting a more
inclusive financial marketplace in the Caribbean. This training is a chance
for banks and other financial institutions to grow their portfolios while
helping local entrepreneurs,” said Luc Grillet, IFC Senior Manager for
the Caribbean and Central America. “With our partners at the Caribbean
Association of Banks and DFATD, we hope to increase access to credit for
entrepreneurs who are working hard to build and expand their businesses.”
As of Fiscal Year 2015, IFC had a committed
portfolio of $760 million in projects in the Caribbean, including $100
million mobilized from partner institutions. IFC implements programs to
improve the business climate, build the skills of local entrepreneurs,
and promote access to finance. Our Caribbean strategy focuses on promoting
job creation and inclusive growth; helping the private sector respond to
the global financial crisis; supporting innovation, competitiveness and
regional integration; and providing investments that help companies adapt
to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries
rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential
role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About Caribbean Association of Banks
The CAB is a community of banks
and other financial institutions in the Caribbean/CARICOM Region, whose
mission is to advance the interest of member institutions through advocacy,
networking, provision of training and other solutions to strengthen the
Caribbean’s financial services sector.
Please visit: http://www.cab-inc.com/home
for further information.