February 20, 2018, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Accessing finance to fund business ventures has long been an issue across the Caribbean, especially for women. Now that the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have joined forces to tackle this challenge, sourcing funds could become easier for women-owned businesses in the Region.
The two organisations on Monday, February 19, signed an agreement to collaborate on a new programme, Women Empowered through Export (WE-Xport), to support capacity-building for women-owned businesses to facilitate their access to finance. A key component of the new initiative to be launched in March 2018 by Caribbean Export will be “Access to Finance”, and will include a two-day workshop that aims to increase participants’ understanding of the requirements of financial institutions and how best to meet them. Ongoing technical assistance through regional business support organisations will also be available to participating companies through the CDB-funded component.
“CDB recognises the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as contributors to economic growth and development in our Region. We welcome the opportunity to partner with Caribbean Export to give women-owned businesses the support they need to gain better access to financing. We view WE-Xport as another opportunity for the Bank to directly advance women’s entrepreneurship, and help women business owners overcome one of the greatest obstacles they face when looking to grow their businesses—unlocking financing,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB.