The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a US$20 million loan to the Caribbean Development Bank to bolster private-sector development and boost the productivity of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are all eligible members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
The Global Credit Loan was granted to the Caribbean Development Ban to spur environmental and other innovation at the companies. It will also fund grants channeled to MSMEs through business support organizations in order to strengthen the market for services that help businesses adopt climate and digital technologies.
The program will also urge MSMEs to adopt climate technologies and digitalize their processes through lines of credit for working capital and capital investments that will be brokered by financial institutions. A minimum of 30% of the loans will be earmarked for buying equipment, software, consulting services, and other investments related to using technology to modernize and digitally transform the businesses, and to projects at eligible business to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Qualifying projects include solar panel installations.
The program will finance campaigns that specifically target businesses run or owned by women , thus promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. The objective is to raise awareness about both grant programs for innovation and technology adoption programs in industries that affect female employment. Part of the resources will also be used to analyze and design policy frameworks that promote or enhance gender diversity in the workplace.
The program will directly benefit approximately 596 legally established MSMEs, regardless of their industry. At least 17% of these businesses will be owned by women. The loan will also indirectly aid business support organizations and financial intermediaries in eligible Organization of Eastern Caribbean States member countries, which will develop the measures to support innovation and uptake of climate and digital technologies.
The US$20 million IDB loan has a 23.5-year repayment term, a seven-year grace period, and an interest rate based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR).
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. Access our virtual tour.