Finance for Small and Mediumsized Enterprises in the Caribbean

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Small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) are seen as the engine of economic growth and employment creation in the Caribbean, as in other parts of the world. This study explores the difficulties such enterprises have in accessing longterm financing and how these could be overcome. The book reports the results of a survey of SMEs from ten Caribbean countries, and a parallel study of lending institutions that might be expected to offer finance to SMEs. The author offers a commentary on the differing perspectives of SMEs and lenders to the problem of finding affordable longterm financing, and suggests policy options for improving access to finance for this sector.



Executive Summary

The study is presented in four parts. The first sets out the contextual circumstances of the SMEs surveyed on several parameters, and provides the background to the survey. There is no information on how many SMEs operate in any one country despite legal requirements for the registration of companies and trade names. It is therefore not possible to assess the statistical significance of the sample. The personal characteristics of the owners of these businesses are also presented with a view to determining if they impact on the success of the businesses in accessing finance. The first section provides the context of the survey and gives a brief insight into the types of businesses that make up the SME sector, the range of legal forms and sizes they represent, and the characteristics of their owners.


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