Policy and Institutional Framework for SME Development in the Bahamas

This project is to develop a comprehensive and coherent institutional framework to support Bahamian Small and Medium sized Enterprises, including those in the Family Islands. Through the new institutional framework for SME development and a particular strategy for the productive sector in the Family Islands, the Program seeks to increase productivity in the sectors that represent the majority of firms in the Country. The Program will deliver important products that are stand-alone and do not depend on external factors for success, particularly in-depth information on SMEs and a basis for its permanent review, as well as a program for the FI to act as a driver for overall SME development and sectoral linkages. If the new institutional framework is subsequently implemented, the impact to economic growth and income distribution, particularly regional, would be important as local businesses would increase their contribution to growth and improve overall productivity. This would also help improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector and potentially decrease the need of imported goods and services that could be provided by local firms, which would help in preventing long term external imbalances. The Program is also expected to generate much needed knowledge about barriers that impede women from developing more competitive and productive firms as well as on the impact that business development services, targeted to women or not, can have to improve those firms’ performance.

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