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Thematic Area:

Financial Inclusion & Microfinance


1 April 2021 to December 2021 and 1 March 2022 to 30 June 2022 and 1 December 2023 to 30 April 2024


UNDP Barbados


Latin America and the Caribbean

Country Coverage:           

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Project Overview

The “FUT-Tourism: Rethinking Tourism and MSMEs in times of COVID-19” project aims to technically and financially support MSMEs that are directly or indirectly linked to the tourism sector or have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With gender equality and empowerment of women at its core, the proposal seeks to promote economic diversification, job creation and resilience with the “Blue Economy for Green Islands” approach in the tourism sector thereby boosting recovery and supporting the digitally enabled transformation of the business processes and value chains of MSMEs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity to rethink and reinvent the tourism sector and how MSMEs operate in order to reduce dependencies. FUT-Tourism aims to become an out-of-the-box platform that serves to assist governments, regional partners and key stakeholders as well as MSMEs to “Build Forward Better” in the COVID-19 context.

The project encompasses three main outcomes

  1. Regional dialogue and Policy solutions for the tourism sector enhanced through sub-regional and national diagnostics
  2. Technical support for MSMEs retooling and access to markets within tourism value chains
  3. Financial assistance for the economic recovery of MSMEs affected by the impact of COVID-19

The project components 2 & 3 are being implemented by the University of The West Indies and Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Partnership with UNDP. These two outputs are directly connected because the majority of MSMEs that will receive technical assistance will also receive grants. For that reason, the methodology to support MSMEs should be developed as a whole package.

Frankfurt School supported the University of The West Indies (UWI) and UNDP with the design of a technical assistance, training, and mentoring package for MSMEs. Frankfurt School provided technical assistance and advise to UWI on the curricula, training course methodology and coaching for MSMEs retooling and capacity building to combat the negative impact of COVID-19. FS also provided quality assurance of teaching and workshop materials and produced guidelines for selection of MSME beneficiaries of the technical and financial assistance programme. The training package included fundamental and advanced knowledge in the area of digital technologies, financial planning and marketing, technical assistance in business improvement plan and workshops in business reengineering and business reinventing.

During Phase 2, follow-up assistance was given to ensure the provision of grants as well as the utilization of the grants in catalytic actions by the MSMEs as well as to develop a mechanism of access the trainings in future to support other MSMEs in the region (i)

in preparation and planning for delivery of Business Adaptation Programme to MSMEs and Government officials/local experts and (ii) in developing of e-materials for three main learning areas accessible to the public.

E-Guides for Tourism-linked MSMEs

Project Activities & Results

Activities included the development, mobilisation, coordination, participation, monitoring and evaluation of the Business Adaptation Programme with Open Training (virtual training), personalized capacity building and mentoring of tourism value chain MSMEs in the Eastern Caribbean.

300 MSMEs have received training to strengthen their digital skills and support their operations considering the effects of COVID-19. More than 100 MSMEs have digitized at least one key business process related to information management, logistics, inventory management or others. More than 60 business owners have demonstrated new skills that allow them to access new markets within the tourism value chain or digitized at least two core business processes. 150 MSMEs received a financial grant.

Access to quality education and life-long learning increased, for enhanced employability and sustainable economic development.