Helping businesses find a Pathway to Finance

20/01/2014

<p style="text-align: justify;">Since 2008, Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I) has been running the Pathways to Finance programme, which helps SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises) to develop professional funding submissions in a personalised manner. The PT&amp;I-provided funding goes toward enabling the partner organisation for conducting training and one-on-one consultations with SMME business owners. The aim of the training is to help them get their business documentation in order and up-to-date.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The funding helps provide for a business advisor who is tasked with assisting suitable SMMEs to develop professional funding submissions. By engaging a trusted, local business advisor and targeting loan-ready participants, banks and other lending institutions are better able to access the credit-worthiness of the SMME, thus optimising their chances of loan approval.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The programme began with a pilot project in the Solomon Islands. Subsequently, each year since, MoUs have been signed with the Solomon Islands Small Medium Enterprise Council (SMEC). SMEC Chairman Leliana Firisua says, “PT&amp;I has been a great partner to roll out the Pathways to Finance programme here in the Solomons. We have had a strong relationship since piloting SMME development projects in 2008. Using the funds provided … we have been able to continue to help SMMEs develop the skills they need to run their businesses and proceed to get bank loans to grow their businesses.”</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Last year, PT&amp;I partnered with Yap and Marshall Islands Small Business Development Centre, funding a total of US$17,500 to the Micronesian country. The fund will be deployed for targeting suitable, loan-ready small, medium, and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) and engage the services of a trusted, local business advisor to carry out the training. This will then used to apply for commercial loans with banks or other lenders, with the aim of growing their businesses.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">PT&amp;I also signed MoUs in Vanuatu (partner Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Palau (Palau Small Business Development Center) and the programme has been progressing well in each of these countries.</p>

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