Press Releases

IFC Helps Banks Increase Small Business Access to Finance in Caribbean

In Trinidad and Tobago:
Clara U. Perrin
Phone:  (511) 611-2501

In Washington, D.C.:
Leila F. Search
Phone:  (202) 473 7511

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, June 8, 2010—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 government of Japan, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Canadian International Development Agency, is training bankers on building sustainable small and medium banking operations in Port of Spain from June 8 to June 11.  The training program covers strategy and market segmentation, product design, credit risk management, and information management systems.  It also includes a training-of-trainers component that will ensure sustainability of the training offering in local markets beyond IFC’s workshop.

More than 30 bankers and trainers from 17 institutions representing 10 countries in the Caribbean 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.  

“This training is just one of IFC’s interventions that will help Caribbean financial institutions develop and expand their services to underserved small and medium enterprises,” said Ignacio Estévez, an IFC Senior Banking Specialist.

Small and medium enterprises are a major driver of economic growth and job creation.  Yet they often lack access to finance, especially in developing countries.  IFC, through its Global SME Banking Program, provides capacity building to financial institutions on how to develop sound operations for small businesses and increase their access to financial products and services.

Ewart Williams, Governor of Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, said, “We want to strengthen small business development by encouraging financial institutions to support the needs of SMEs, and we also are supporting small businesses in a number of other ways such as this training.”

The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Community Secretariat have endorsed and provided support for the training.  IFC also has conducted similar training in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa.  

To learn more about IFC’s Global SME Banking Program, visit

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit