OAS MSME Newsletter: ( February 2024):

This OAS MSME Newsletter is published by the Department of Economic Development of the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI). It is dedicated to measures recently announced by OAS Member States to drive the economic recovery of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The policy responses vary from country to country and are specific to the economic circumstances of each Member State. Given that every day produces new developments, this inventory is in no way exhaustive.

Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Project – WEE Business Formalization Toolkits

These business formalization toolkits are a roadmap for women-led and women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Eastern Caribbean. They were designed to empower women to make informed decisions for themselves and their businesses.

Country Policy Responses

80% of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) will be able to access the foreign exchange market to fully settle their commercial debts abroad starting in February.

The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA), together with the Ministry of Commerce of the Nation, announced that 80% of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) will be able to access the foreign exchange market to fully settle their commercial debts abroad. This is due to the completion of the Commercial Debt Registry, the accumulation of international reserves, and the high acceptance of the BOPREAL Series 1. About 10,000 companies will settle their debts of up to USD 500,000 in the next 3 months, accessing gradual amounts from February to April 2024.

The National Government met with CAME to explain the measure that resolves the commercial debt of more than 10,000 SMEs.

The National Government of Argentina held meetings with the Argentine Confederation of Medium-sized Enterprises (CAME) to outline the new measure that enables more than 10,000 SMEs to access the Foreign Exchange Market to settle commercial debts abroad. The measure includes monthly payments of 25% to address the debt generated by distortions in the exchange rate, aiming to restore economic credibility.

Caribbean Regional Hub of SheTrades, part of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), supports women entrepreneurs at the leading international trade fair

The article highlights the support provided by the Caribbean Regional Hub of SheTrades, a part of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), to women entrepreneurs participating in an international trade fair. The event aims to promote women’s participation in international trade and provide them with opportunities to expand their businesses. The SheTrades Regional Hub offers training, counseling, and access to business networks to help women entrepreneurs maximize their participation in the event and make the most of commercial opportunities.

Small businesses in Rio de Janeiro are increasingly using digital channels for sales.

Small businesses in Rio de Janeiro are increasingly utilizing digital channels for sales, with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook being the primary platforms. Over 98% of entrepreneurs access the internet via mobile phones, with significant use of social media for commercial purposes. Digital channels account for up to 38.6% of sales for some entrepreneurs. Companies are adopting technological processes such as management software, customer management tools, paid advertising on social media, and online training for entrepreneurs to enhance digital engagement and operational efficiency.

Small businesses drive the Carnival: the average expected expenditure is R$ 320 per attendee.

The Carnival significantly boosts small businesses, with an average expected expenditure of R$ 320 per attendee, where food represents 72% of the expenses. This cultural event not only promotes the creative and sustainable economy but also addresses the challenge of informal entrepreneurship. Sebrae supports entrepreneurs to improve financial management and promote formalization, which is crucial for accessing resources and loans.

The Ministry of Economy participates in a conversation with Google to boost the economic growth of SMEs through Digital Transformation.

The Ministry of Economy of Chile participated in a conversation with Google to promote the economic growth of SMEs through digital transformation. Public policies and experiences of SMEs in digitization were shared. The event highlighted the democratizing impact of digital technology and invited further exploration of the relationship between technology and businesses.

Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and SMEs celebrates resounding success of the “Made in DR” label: 815 products authorized during the first year.

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and SMEs of the Dominican Republic celebrated the success of the “Made in DR” label, which was awarded to 815 products from 80 industries in its first year. This label has boosted local production and employment, contributing to the national economy with over 146,658 formal jobs and exports totaling USD 1,409.6 million. The label, which guarantees Dominican quality and origin, is part of a strategy to improve the positioning of products both locally and internationally.

MICM launches virtual fair “Encadena.DO”; companies will be able to expand allies and build new business relationships.

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and SMEs (MICM) of the Dominican Republic launched the virtual fair “Encadena.DO”, an initiative that allows companies to expand their network of contacts and establish new business relationships. The fair, which has approximately 1,850 participants, includes a diverse profile of sectors and offers the opportunity to participate in conferences and roundtable discussions to promote the growth and expansion of local businesses.

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and Mastercard join forces to drive innovation and digitalization in Central America and the Dominican Republic.

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) and Mastercard have announced a partnership with the aim of fostering innovation and digitalization in Central America and the Dominican Republic. The collaboration seeks to leverage Mastercard’s expertise in digital payment solutions to enhance financial inclusion and promote economic development in the region. By combining resources and knowledge, the two entities aim to drive initiatives that modernize payment systems, improve access to financial services, and ultimately contribute to economic integration and the advancement of participating countries.

Next Ecuador, a project funded by the EU, will train small producers to improve blackberry production techniques in Bolívar.

The Next Ecuador project, financed by the EU, aims to train 30 small producers in Guantug Cruz, Bolívar province, on sustainable cultivation, marketing, and transportation techniques for blackberries. This initiative is a collaboration between the International Trade Centre, the Public Company of the State University of Bolívar, and funded by the European Union, with the goal of improving the quality of blackberry production and environmental responsibility in the region. Participants will receive 120 hours of training focused on practical application to enhance their competitiveness in the market and living conditions. The project also includes applied research at the university and aims to replicate the knowledge among other blackberry producers in the region.

Closure of Market Analysis Diploma.

The article discusses the conclusion of a Market Analysis Diploma, organized by the Government of El Salvador through CONAMYPE with support from FANTEL funds. This virtual program aimed to provide national SMEs with tools for market research and data analysis to develop effective commercial strategies and make better business decisions. 100 SMEs from different sectors participated, improving their understanding of consumer behavior and decision-making processes.

Roots for Prosperity

The Roots for Prosperity initiative by USAID aim to enhance the competitiveness of El Salvador’s economy. It focuses on increasing the capacity of MSMEs to compete nationally and internationally, improving the business environment to boost investment, innovation, and productivity, and facilitating access to formal temporary work programs in the United States. The project will last for 5 years, with an estimated cost between $25M and $49.99M, starting in April 2024.

Large companies are urged to support the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector.

The article highlights the importance of large companies supporting the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector. It emphasizes comments from the Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce of Jamaica, who urged large companies to provide mentorship, access to markets, and financial support to MSMEs. The minister emphasized that such collaboration is essential for the growth and sustainability of the MSME sector, which plays a crucial role in Jamaica’s economy by creating jobs and fostering innovation.

BSJ invites more MSMEs to register in the NQA program.

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has issued an invitation for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to enroll in the National Quality Awards (NQA) Program. The NQA program aims to recognize and reward local companies for their commitment to quality standards and practices. The BSJ encourages MSMEs to participate in the program as it offers various benefits, such as increased marketability, improved efficiency, and enhanced consumer confidence.

Consultation on SME and Entrepreneurship Policy on February 20th.

The Ministry of Business in Jamaica announces a consultation event on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Entrepreneurship Policy scheduled for February 20th. The consultation aims to gather input from stakeholders to inform the development of policies and strategies that support SMEs and entrepreneurship in Jamaica. It highlights the importance of these sectors in driving economic growth and job creation. The consultation seeks to address the challenges faced by SMEs and identify opportunities for their growth and development.

Mexican SMEs will have more opportunities to achieve their goals in 2024.

Mexican micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) will have greater opportunities to achieve their goals in 2024, thanks to a financing and technical support program launched by the Andean Development Corporation (CAF). This program aims to strengthen the productive, competitive, and innovative capacity of Mexican MSMEs, as well as improve their access to financing and support their integration into value chains. It is expected that these measures will contribute to the country’s economic growth and job creation.

Bancomext and Nafin present financing programs to boost Veracruz MSMEs.

The National Foreign Trade Bank (BANCOMEXT) and Nacional Financiera (NAFIN) launch financing programs with the aim of boosting micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. These programs offer different financing options, such as working capital loans, acquisition of machinery and equipment, as well as investment and export projects. In addition to financing, technical advice and support are provided to strengthen the productive capacity and competitiveness of Veracruz MSMEs. These initiatives aim to promote economic growth, job creation, and business development in the region.

MICI in Your Community updates residents and merchants in East Panama.

The “MICI in Your Community” initiative, carried out by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) in East Panama, aims to update residents and merchants on topics related to commercial activity and current regulations. During the event, information was provided on procedures, requirements, and benefits of various programs offered by MICI, and personalized advice was offered to address doubts and provide support to participants. This initiative seeks to promote local economic development, facilitate access to government resources and services, and strengthen the relationship between MICI and the business community in East Panama.

Paraguay will improve its logistics chain, commercial integration, and export diversification with the support of the IDB.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is supporting Paraguay to improve its logistics chain, commercial integration, and export diversification. This support will be channeled through a program aimed at strengthening the country’s capacity to address logistical challenges and promote sustainable economic growth. The objectives of the program include improving transportation infrastructure, modernizing customs services, facilitating cross-border trade, and promoting the competitiveness of Paraguay’s export sector. These initiatives are expected to drive economic development and strengthen Paraguay’s position in the international market.

Micro and small enterprises represent 99.2% of the Peruvian business fabric.

Micro and small businesses represent 99.2% of the business fabric in Peru. These enterprises play a crucial role in the country’s economy, contributing significantly to job creation and economic development. The importance of providing support and appropriate tools to strengthen this sector is emphasized, thus promoting business growth and economic prosperity in the country

Loans-Grants Facility for MSMEs: Changing Lives.

The positive impact of the loans and grants program for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Saint Lucia. The program has been instrumental in changing lives by providing financing to MSMEs to boost business growth, job creation, and economic development on the island. Success stories are highlighted where MSMEs have used these funds to expand their operations, improve the quality of life for business owners and their families, and contribute to the overall well-being of the community. The article emphasizes the government of Saint Lucia’s commitment to supporting MSMEs and promoting a favorable business environment in the country.