BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is pleased to support Belize’s Micro Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) with USD12.5 million investment, says Daniel Best, director of projects at CDB. “The line of credit being provided to the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will undoubtedly contribute to the financial sustainability of MSMEs and equitable access to production-oriented finance support, enhanced productive capacity and the economic growth and the export potential of Belize.”
His statement followed the bank’s announcement that its board approved a loan to Belize’s development financing agency.
The DFC, which will administer the project, was established to expand and strengthen the economy of Belize by providing funding on affordable terms to individuals or groups seeking to develop key economic sectors, but unable to access resources on reasonable terms.
According to the head, Private Sector Division (Ag) at CDB, Lisa Harding:
“During project implementation the DFC will provide financing to MSMEs for agricultural and industrial credit. We anticipate an increased number of viable MSMEs contributing to and sustaining employment opportunities.”
The development of MSMEs is critical for transforming the economy. Beyond employment, these firms expand productivity and generate private and public sector income. In Belize, the challenges experienced by MSMEs in obtaining affordable credit from commercial banks for business start-ups and expansion persists. Other constraints include high collateral security requirements, limited supply of long-term financing, high equity contribution requirements, relatively expensive financing for working capital and energy. However, these businesses account for 90 percent of all companies.
The project supports the government’s objectives which identified MSMEs’ expansion in agriculture and agribusiness; tourism and hospitality enterprises; manufacturing, renewable energy, and the service sector as strategic growth areas.
It will also strengthen social resilience for inclusive growth, education and training, as well as youth development. It aligns with CDB’s thrust to increase support and incentives focused on private sector development.
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