CARICOM Member States, in delivering on their climate change priorities, must engage the private sector, and moreso Small & Medium-sized Enterprises. One critical challenge facing many SMEs seeking to invest in Renewable Energy (RE) technologies and Energy Efficiency (EE) measures is the lack of access to financing.
To strenghten SME access to finance by providing a greater range of financing option, the CARICOM Development Fund has developed the Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF).
CRAF will provide an incentive for additional lending to SMEs by financial institutions for RE/EE initiatives in CARICOM, resulting in transformational, lasting change in energy markets in the region.
On April 28th, 2021, the CDF signed its first Master Guarantee Agreement, to provide partial credit guarantee, through the CRAF, with the St Lucia Development Bank. This move is expected to boost investments in projects advancing the use of photovoltaic systems, efficient air conditioning and lighting systems. This joint endeavour will empower Saint Lucian SMEs with the financial backing and security to pursue and complete clean energy projects, reduce their operating cost and increase their competitiveness.
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