As a way to demonstrate its commitment to promoting microfinance development in the Caribbean, the EIB has become the second largest sponsoring organisation, after Citi Foundation, to the sixth edition of the Caribbean Microfinance Forum. EIB’s contribution was crucial in ensuring the sustainability of the event this year, the first year without donor support, and reflects continuation of the EU-ACP budget to the event after the end of the EU-ACP microfinance programme in 2015.
The Forum is organized each year by the Caribbean Microfinance Alliance, the regional microfinance network, and this year’s theme “Microfinance Solutions for Inclusive Growth” attracted 102 participants, including CEOs, CFOs, Directors and Financial Services Professionals, as well as policymakers, investors, academics and development partners and experts. An update on the Carib-Cap technical assistance programme was provided, and discussions about the Caribbean clients’ needs and social performance management were central.
The EIB participated to an investor panel during the plenary session dedicated to funding and introduced the newly launched Caribbean and Pacific Impact Finance Facility. This panel was also the opportunity to address concerns of participating Microfinance Institutions regarding both scarce access to funding in the region and the eligibility requirements of institutional lenders, as those are major impediments to microfinance expansion in the Caribbean.
The CMF VI offered excellent networking opportunities and allowed identifying both short-term and medium-term new potential counterparties for the EIB. Besides, useful inputs were collected to support the design of the technical assistance envelope attached to the new Facility.