Castries, St. Lucia, on August 18, 2021, the Republic SME Toolkit was introduced across five new territories: St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Anguilla and St. Maarten. This free online resource will provide much needed support to the growth and development of small businesses in the region. The decision to create this tool is grounded in the Group’s focus on improving lives, experiences, and prospects of the communities we serve.
SMEs are vital parts of the developing economies of our region as employers, as drivers of innovation and healthy competition and simply as members of our communities. Supporting them is not only the right thing to do as good neighbours, but also critical to the future trajectory of the region.
The first time the RFHL Group sought to address these needs of the SME sector using a toolkit specifically was when we partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World Bank Group to introduce the SME Toolkit Caribbean in 2009. Over the years the site became a go to portal, not only for the Bank’s SMEs but for anyone who chose to visit the site for guidance and relevant business development information.
Today, we celebrate the result of those efforts with the introduction of the Republic SME Toolkit in the above-mentioned territories. This toolkit is a comprehensive, accessible, fresh, and insightful resource that will provide SMEs with access to information, guidelines, and training on matters relevant to managing a business and other key concerns facing small business owners. Additional support will be provided in key areas such as drafting a business plan, accessing legal, accounting, and financial advice and market information. Beyond that, the toolkit is a symbol of the growing synergy across the Group.
This new development comes (8) weeks after the announcement of Republic Bank (EC) partnership with the Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Program (ECPCGC) a dedicated program to financing MSMEs in the region. Commenting on the launch of the SME Toolkit is Carmen Gomez Trigg – Chief Executive Officer of the ECPCGC, “The SME Toolkit is a natural complement to the financing thrust of the ECPCGC. One of our mandates is to provide capacity building to the entrepreneurs, so that they are better able to manage their businesses. The SME Toolkit offers a range of business tools and training modules, all geared to this specific goal. In other words, the formula of granting finance to MSMEs is incomplete without providing the requisite training. The two variables of finance and training, put together, completes the equation. ECPCGC congratulates Republic Bank on this initiative and looks forward to the synergies that would be created!”
This tool, its success, its benefits, and its outcomes hold much significance and will form part of the legacy of the teams who are working to serve the needs of our customers at a critical moment in history. So, we encourage you to visit the site today at https://republicsmetoolkit.com. Get acquainted, get comfortable, send us your feedback, and encourage others to use it and do the same.