SME Investment Workshop

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November 23, 2010 No. 46/10-GCDB Hosts SME Investment Support Facility Workshop The Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE), in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), organised a regional workshop focussed on the "SME Investment Support Facility" on November 22, 2010, at the CDB Headquarters in Barbados. The workshop represented a component of a regional project in which the CDE is seeking to partner with financial institutions (FIs) offering equity financing and/or long term loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in order to strengthen their existing, as well as new, portfolio of SME investments, whether they are existing or start-up companies. Under this programme, the CDE will provide pre- and post-investment technical assistance (TA) via a dedicated TA facility - the "SME Investment Support Facility". The workshop presented global findings of the experience of institutions around the Caribbean in doing SME finance, the findings and best practices of other programmes where TA is used to support investment in SMEs, and the actual experience of FIs in the Region which have used TA. Participants benefitted from presentations made by resource persons Mr. Anthony Whitehouse (Consultant), Mr. Yves Ferreira (European Investment Bank), Mr. Carlo Cattani (Consultant), Mrs. Marie-Louise Norton-Murray (CDE) and Mr. Peter Blackman and Ms. Lisa Harding (CDB). The hosting of this workshop is consistent with CDB's Private Sector Strategy, which emphasises that building institutional and enterprise capacity is a fundamental part of the mission of the Bank. The proposed SME Investment Support Facility is an important initiative which, by supporting finance with much needed TA, has the potential to increase the viability of micro, small and medium enterprises and also improve the portfolio quality of regional FIs.

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