October 28, 2014

FAST-CBI Executive Breakfast in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

FAST, in collaboration with the Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) recently hosted an Executive Breakfast for local financial institutions in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Friday, October 17.  

The Executive Breakfast focused on presenting investment opportunities in specific SMEs in the coffee and fruit sector of Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, along with effective strategies to improve access to finance, strengthen SME business capabilities and create meaningful social and environmental impacts in those regions.

The event was a great success and witnessed a high turnout, with 31 participants, including 12 financial institutions representing the majority of institutions financing agriculture in Honduras, making it a significant opportunity to raise the profile of the fruits and vegetables sectors and display the investment potential in Central America and Honduras in particular.

CBI, an agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, aims to drive sustainable economic development in Central America through expanding their capacity to export, mainly towards Europe, in the agri-food sector. They offer various forms of technical assistance, including business development coaching for SMEs. Overall the SMEs are provided with a deep understanding of exporting to European markets and a better capacity to negotiate exports, along with direct contact with European buyers.

CBI sought FAST's collaboration for this project for its knowledge on SME financing and unique position in the SME financing sector. The project leveraged FAST's expertise regarding access to finance and financial literary tools, providing SMEs with the necessary first-steps to improve their business practices and produce an investment plan. Access to finance for these SMEs will enable them to make various improvements and expansions to their businesses, such as hiring more employees, acquiring machinery, and evolving towards exporting their products. FAST was brought in to provide training in financial literacy and has worked with 10 CBI- supported enterprises so far.

Following the Executive Breakfast, FAST, with the support of CBI, will hold a Financial Fair, a structured series of meetings between lenders and SMEs, which will take place in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, later this year. The short-term goal of this event is to have successful meetings between lenders and SMEs resulting in the submission of credit applications; the long-term goal is that these investments will generate positive impacts such as job creation and greater commitment to sustainable practices by the SMEs.

If you wish to attend the Financial Fair, please contact Serena Thomson at serena.thomson@fastinternational.org