Evaluation of Direct Support to SMEs by the IIC
This evaluation assesses the work of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) in directly supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The evaluation reviews the origins and evolution of the IIC's direct support to SMEs and assesses the relevance, development results, and financial results of this support. It also reviews the IIC's internal procedures for managing direct support, as well as the experience of other MDBs with direct support to SMEs. The evaluation covers all approved IIC direct lending operations to SMEs from 2006 to 2015 (prior to the merge-out) and disbursed IIC FINPYME technical assistance (TA) operations during the same period.The recent IDB Group (IDBG) private sector merge-out has substantially broadened the IIC's activities, extending its role beyond its core mandate of SME support while focusing attention on the question of how best to support SMEs in a context of scarce resources. The IIC is currently developing a strategy to expand its reach to SMEs and increase its impact by seeking ways to efficiently address the barriers that limit their growth. Additionally, the FINPYME Credit program, a streamlined direct financing mechanism for SMEs, expired in May 2016 and was temporarily extended pending completion of this evaluation. This evaluation fills an important information gap for defining the way forward.