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  • SL-HE-obtainingExportCredit-EN
    ITC's Trade Finance team assists small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at all stages of their development as exporters by enhancing access to affordable credit, building entrepreneurs' financial management skills, and encouraging the development of financial instruments and mechanisms tailored to SME exporters’ needs and thus maximises their outreach through partnering with institutions on the national, regional and international level.


    ITC provide online assessments and tutorials for SME managers to identify and address their financial weaknesses. Expand this section to find links to these tutorials and also to access selected relevant publications.

    Advisory Services

    In the difficult context of the financial crisis, the ultimate objective of ITC’s Trade Finance Unit is to enhance access to affordable finance for SMEs in developing countries. The unit fosters closer collaboration between the business community, Trade Support Institutions (TSIs), financial institutions and other international organizations.
     Strategic Approach Trade Finance SME

    The ITC’s Trade Finance for SMEs Programme takes on four key challenges:

    • Improve SME managers’ skills in financial management, in particular to strengthen their financial soundness and their ability to submit bankable projects
    • Enhancing financial institutions’ understanding of SME needs, their ability to evaluate projects’ potential and related risks, and to monitor the performance of loan recipients
    • Coordination with other organizations (such as regional development banks) to mobilize long-term credit and guarantee lines dedicated to SMEs
    • Broaden the range and availability of financial services tailored to SMEs.


    To find out more about ITC’s financial management training programme and certification, please expand this section.

    Financial management training programme & certitication - TSIs building the skills of SME financial managers

    The program is directed towards local counsellors who will provide diagnostic services to SMEs and SME managers themselves. Through tailored training events and practical work, participants gain a better understanding of financial institutions’ practices and requirements, and are equipped with the right skills to develop bankable proposals and also to adopt sound financial management practices. The training program can be delivered as a stand-alone or as part of ITC’s Enterprise Competitiveness program. Qualifying participants are certified in financial management.

    Training Modules

    1. How to assess SMEs’ financial needs  
    2. Alternative sources of finance for SMEs 
    3. Developing bankable proposals (incl. sample loan applications, business plans)  
    4. Bookkeeping and cash flow management  
    5. Analyzing financial statements  
    6. Budgeting and forecasting 
    7. Payment mechanisms and risk mitigation in international trade


    ITC improves the skills of SME managers via a structured training, advisory and coaching system provided by a network of experts and TSIs, in conjuncture with a set of self tutorials, online tools and publications that enable SME managers to develop skills on their own.
     Coaching and support are provided before, during and after the loan, to ensure they not only access finance but also meet their loan obligations, thereby becoming creditworthy borrowers. By reaching a critical mass of SMEs, ITC contributes to business creation, export development, job generation, and thereby growth and poverty alleviation.


    Much has been said about the mechanisms that have prompted the global financial and economic crisis. It is now becoming urgent to realise and measure the concrete impact of the crisis on the millions of SMEs worldwide, and its longer consequences for the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises.

    It is also urgent to develop and implement short and medium-term solutions specifically designed to restore confidence, trust and dialogue between SMEs and financial institutions. SMEs are the engine of economic development, they constitute the majority of business enterprises, and they are vital for employment generation and poverty alleviation. To read more about what can be done to assist SMEs in this time of crisis, please click here.

    In order to carry out our projects, we have developed partnerships with sister organizations and funding partners. For more information on who funds our work and how, please click here.

    ITC provides online tutorials for SME managers to identify and address their financial weaknesses.

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