St. Lucia, May 10, 2011—IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, is helping bankers develop their operations
and provide financial services to improve access to finance for small and
medium enterprises in the Caribbean.
IFC, in collaboration with the governments
of Japan and the Netherlands and the Canadian International Development
Agency, is training bankers on building sustainable small and medium banking
operations from May 10 to May 13, 2011. The training program covers
strategy and market segmentation, product design, credit-risk management,
and information-management systems.
More than 28 bankers and trainers from
18 institutions in nine countries are participating in the event, which
is part of a training program developed by IFC’s Global SME Banking Program
to help banks in emerging markets assess the potential benefits of targeting
the small-business sector and to build or expand this line of business.
“The implementation of IFC’s advisory
services SME Banking project has helped us gain considerable insight into
how small and medium enterprises operate and what we can do to meet their
needs more effectively,” said Joanna Charles, Bank of St. Lucia’s Assistant
General Manager. “It is a continuous learning process; however,
a clearly defined strategy to serve that niche will be rewarding for all
concerned. IFC’s project crystallizes the process by putting the entire
SME framework into a new perspective.”
Small and medium enterprises are a major
driver of economic growth and job creation, yet in the Caribbean, smaller
enterprises struggle to finance the growth of their businesses.
“This training is just one of IFC’s
interventions to assist Caribbean financial institutions develop and expand
their services to underserved small and medium enterprises,” said Greta
Bull, IFC’s Access to Finance Head for Latin America and the Caribbean.
IFC also has conducted similar trainings
in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, East
Asia and the Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia.
To learn more about IFC’s Global SME
Banking Program, visit www.ifc.org/SMEBanking.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty
and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses
employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital
from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable
development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments
climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit