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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.

  • Highlights

    Panellists at the workshop ‘Transformational evolution in trade finance: technology meets business proposition in the new Bank Payment Obligation’

    New financial instrument offers risk-mitigation and financing options but more needs to be done for exporting SMEs from developing countries


    The International Trade Centre (ITC) will provide African business leaders with pro bono training on building bankable business plans ahead of the Africa Finance and Investment Forum (AFIF), which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 13 and 14...


    When SalamaTulari sat at her roadside shed in Tamale peddling yams and wondering how she'd ever come up with the money to expand her business, she never imagined her voice would help determine the future of Ghana's strategy to develop its yam industry.But...


    Liberia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will enable the country to improve its business environment, secure market access for its importers and exporters, and make the country more attractive for foreign investment, as long as both the public and the private sector are committed to the process.


    At a plant in the North-East of Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek, a 20-minute ride from the city centre over potholed roads, 23-year-old Bakhtiyar Kudakeldiev works as a water bottling operator. He does not know it, but he benefits from an ITC programme...


    Cotton is one success of Zambia’s turn towards a market economy and offers a powerful tool for poverty reduction. Until recently, the industry had been dominated by the foreign-owned private sector that dictated prices and marketing arrangements for...


    Focusing on the value of exports rather than simply their volume is a key means for developing countries to survive and prosper in times of economic crisis, said Patricia R. Francis, ITC's Executive Director...


    ITC has partnered with the African Training and Management Services (ATMS) project implemented by the African Management Services Company (AMSCO) to provide technical assistance to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia... 


    With growth in trade essential for developing countries to emerge from the global economic and financial crisis, the International Trade Centre (ITC) has published two comprehensive business guides...


    In a market where customers are more demanding than ever and resources are scarce, achieving excellence in the supply chain is increasingly challenging. With the mandate to provide technical cooperation in the area of international trade promotion...