IIC hosts a workshop for Caribbean experts on SME business ethics


Initiative to develop a business ethics toolkit for SMEs Strong IDB Group support to promote PACI (Partnering Against Corruption Initiative) principles in SMEs

Washington, D.C.- The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) will host a workshop in Washington, D.C., from August 16 – 27, 2010, on business ethics for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). This workshop is funded by the Korea-IIC SME Development Trust Fund and is being managed in partnership with the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. ITA has pioneered similar events in business ethics issues, especially in Central and South America.

This workshop will bring together 16 professionals from Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago who represent different organizations of their private sector communities, and who have demonstrated experience in issues of transparency and business ethics. The objective of this workshop is for the IIC, ITA, and the Caribbean participants to collaborate on the creation of a toolkit for SMEs on the issues of business ethics. The toolkit will then be launched in Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, and SMEs from those three countries will be invited to participate in a series of seminars to cover issues such as how to develop an ethics program within SMEs; the benefits for SMEs in terms of employee morale, transparency, and SME reputation in the market place; writing a code of conduct; and instituting reporting and whistle blowing mechanisms in SMEs. At the end of the pilot program in the Caribbean, it is expected that the toolkit will be finalized and become a public good for SMEs throughout the region.

This training workshop represents the first phase of the IIC’s FINPYME Integrity program. In addition to the support of the Korea-IIC SME Development Trust Fund and ITA, the program has benefitted from critical input both from the IDB’s Office of Institutional Integrity as well as from the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), which has been working with Korean SMEs for years on issues of integrity and transparency.

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. It does so by providing financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2009, the IIC reached US$1.4 billion in assets and approved 40 operations channeling US$299.8 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int.

Contact: Michael C. Apel

Telephone: (202) 623-2521

Email: michaela@iadb.org