Crimson experts recently conducted a rapid analysis of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) demand for debt products in 3 value chains (pharmaceuticals, tourism and information technology) in Armenia. The analysis showed that the types of financing most needed by SMEs in Armenia include (i) working capital/trade finance to enable them to fill orders and contracts for their products and services, and (ii) equipment finance to enable business to increase production capacity, improve quality, and/or raise efficiency levels.
Beginning in January 2010, Crimson will work with targeted financial institutions to introduce pilot activities to address this access to finance gap in Armenia. The results of the pilot will be actual working capital loans and/or leases made to Armenian SMEs, by the selected financial institutions utilizing their own funds for lending and leasing. Crimson will provide technical assistance and training to the selected financial institutions in launching the working capital loans and lease products. The pilot loans and leases will promote further refinement and roll out of the products in the Armenia market.
This initiative is being conducted through the USAID-funded FS Share contract, under a subcontract to Chemonics International.