Republic Financial Holdings Bolsters Support For SMEs

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, September 27, 2019: As Republic Financial Holdings (RFHL) moves forward with plans to expand its reach across the Caribbean, the Republic Group is continuing to advance its focus on a segment critical to the growth of the region’s developing economies – Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The Group announced the launch of its new Republic SMEToolkit on September 27, 2019 – the latest addition to a wide range of initiatives meant to put the collective weight of the Group behind the development of the region’s SME sector.

For the Caribbean, SMEs are vital not only as employers but also as drivers of growth, innovation, and healthy competition. However, there can be a disconnect between the value of SMEs to the region’s economic and social growth, and the scarcity of resources available to guide and support SMEs in achieving said growth. Both the public and private sectors have a key role to play in filling these gaps. While banks play a primary role in making financing accessible to SMEs they also serve as gatekeepers to information and advisory services that can be of use to both established and emerging SMEs.

This is the intention behind the Republic SMEToolkit, which is itself an upgrade from its predecessor, the Caribbean SME Toolkit portal, which was made possible through an exclusive partnership between Republic Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) - a member of the World Bank Group. The new and improved Republic SMEToolkit aims to provide SMEs with access to information and training as well as guidance on a range of issues relevant to small business owners from managing a business to drafting a business plan and accessing legal, accounting, and financial advice.

Republic Bank’s Executive Director, Derwin Howell said “RFHL has a long history of working closely with SMEs and saw the toolkit as an opportunity to support this sector in areas where it can be underserved. Visitors to the site can look forward to content and initiatives that will be engaging, educational, empowering and above all else, useful.”

The Republic SMEToolkit is the latest in a series of initiatives and strategic partnerships with organisations like The American Chamber of Commerce and The University of the West Indies, through which the Republic Group has sought to support the Caribbean’s SMEs over the years.

Howell explained that the Group plans to persist in these efforts in the future. He added, “The Group is pleased and honoured to be able to make this resource available once again, and remains committed to seeking out opportunities that focus on business education while empowering SMEs and young entrepreneurs to reach their full potential, both across and beyond the territories we serve.”

Visit the Republic SMEToolkit website at

September 30, 2019
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