The objective of this Technical Assistance (TA) Programme was to promote the responsible financial inclusion of the Caribbean populations, particularly for women and youth, to reduce poverty and encourage entrepreneurship across the region.
The aim was to improve the quantity and quality of financial services offered to the final beneficiaries/clients who were currently unserved or underserved by the traditional financial sector. The implementation of the TA Programme consisted of four components targeting Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) and final beneficiaries/clients. It aimed to support the implementation of EIB financial sector operations in the Caribbean and the inclusive finance sector and MSME entrepreneurs in the region more broadly.
Since the start of the TA Programme, Frankfurt School Experts had been providing targeted capacity building via consulting interventions to national development banks, banks, and MFIs for several topics such as Climate Finance, Business Continuity Planning, Credit Management, Customer Relationship Management, and HR Management.
Second, the PFIs benefited from the design and delivery of training programmes that focused on Credit and Risk Management and Social Performance Management, including the SPI4 Audit and subsequent identification of a Social Performance Management action plan.
A third important component referred to support for PFIs funded by EIB to reach compliance with EIB processes and requirements. Here, the TA support mainly identified the gaps in EIB covenants and proposed a reduction strategy to close the gaps.
The project yielded remarkable outcomes, propelling the transformation of 17 financial institutions through a meticulously tailored regimen of 145 capacity-building activities. A total of 1,400 staff members actively engaged in a rich tapestry of 1,068 hours of training, coaching, and mentoring initiatives, fostering a profound impact on their professional growth. Notably, 304 staff members gained a nuanced understanding of Social and Environmental Performance Management Standards. The project's influence extended to the broader landscape, producing 429 learning and knowledge outputs. Strategic initiatives encompassed the training of 30 financial institutions on International Financial Reporting Standards and the adept design or updating and implementation of Digital Financial Services plans for five institutions. The collaborative effort also extended its support to fortify the resilience of four financial institutions through the design and implementation of robust Business Continuity Plans. Additionally, the project resonated with the entrepreneurial spirit, delivering over 20 training sessions that empowered 1,934 MSMEs, accentuating their financial and entrepreneurial literacy. The culmination of these efforts materialized in the successful organization of four editions of the MicroPitch business plan competition, an endeavour that not only attracted over 600 candidates but also cultivated a vibrant network comprising 3,000 dynamic entrepreneurs.