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Mar 12, 2009

I.I.C. offers free analysis to improve business health

Story PictureOwners of small businesses often want to grow their company and reduce spending. Not an easy feat, but today a program designed to streamline small and medium sized businesses was launched at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. The Inter American Investment Corporation (I.I.C.), an institution affiliated with Inter-American Development Bank, released the project named Innovative Small and Medium Size Business Financing or FINPYME. The I.I.C. works in conjunction with business schools to train professors in the FINPYME methodology. According to Jorge Roldan, the I.I.C.’s Technical Assistance and Strategic Partnerships Division Chief, these professors then evaluate and complete diagnostic reviews for the companies that sign up for the process.

Jorge Roldan, Technical Assistance & Strategic Partnerships, I.I.C.
“We’re here to introduce a new and innovative program for the benefit of small and medium size businesses in Belize. It’s called FINPYME, it’s an acronym in Spanish that is innovative financing for small and medium size companies.”

Jose Sanchez
“Who’s sponsoring? Will you have to pay?”

Jorge Roldan
“The first round of the diagnostics will be free for enterprises. It is being funded by the governments of Korea and Austria and by the Inter American Investment Corporation.”

Jose Sanchez
“When it actually comes to the consultancy will it be someone coming from the outside or someone local?”

Jorge Roldan
“Local, we prefer to work with local consultants, actually our association with BELTRAIDE has been a very successful one. What we try to do is work with local consultants that know the place, that know where we are and they can bring expertise to small and medium size companies. If we find there are areas that would benefit from bringing outside experts we will bring them as well.”

Jose Sanchez
“You say small and medium size. We have a lot of small companies so when you say small, how small is it?”

Jorge Roldan
“That’s a very important question because we find that everywhere in Latin America—actually we’re trying to find companies that have sales of at least a hundred thousand dollars per year. I know that sometimes it’s a lot of money but we know that in Belize there are companies of that size. Throughout the rest of the day and in the coming days and few weeks, BELTRAIDE will be receiving applications for the program.”

Melanie Gideon, Director of S.M.E. Development, BELTRAIDE
“BELTRAIDE is the national coordinator. This is the start of participation with this program, it does not end here. It’s basically we are coordinating the matching of the professors who will do the diagnostic with the enterprises. Prior to that we are short listing all the people who have registered; making a short listing of enterprises who we deem can go through the program. And after that is basically monitoring, making sure the program goes well, answering questions, facilitating. That’s our role at this point.”

Jose Sanchez
“If there are businesses who did not sign up today, can they actually sign up tomorrow or the next day?”

Melanie Gideon
“This is Belize, so yes; today, tomorrow, Monday. We are able to still receive registration. We prefer that you either go on FINPYME.ORG website or you can call BELTRAIDE and we’ll facilitate you over the phone in registering.”

Gideon says funding will be available for additional businesses who register after today’s conference.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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