About: technical assistance

Photograph provided by Mariem Chalouati.

Photograph provided by Mariem Chalouati.

MEII’s technical assistance programs target both lenders within local partner banks, as well as direct support to SMEs. 

Technical Assistance to Local Banks

MEII works behind the scenes with managers and credit officers of local partner banks. MEII professionals provide hands-on assistance with all aspects of SME lending and credit risk management.  Major emphasis is placed on financial analysis and credit structuring to ensure that the viability of SME loan applicants is efficiently assessed, and that loans are structured to properly match the capital needs and cash flows of SME borrowers.   Training also focuses on loan portfolio management to ens ure that each loan is properly monitored and that effective, on-going due diligence protects the interests of both the lender and the borrower.  The MEII approach is designed to maximize potential for a successful and profitable borrower-lender experience. 

WhileMEII also assists bank managers with strategic planning and policy development, the core focus of MEII is through “hands-on” technical assistance and on-the-job training to loan officers. Working side by side with partner bank loan officers on real live loan applications, MEII has processed more than $251 million in SME loans. By developing the loan officers cash flow analysis skills, and SME credit risk management experience, MEII technical assistance will enable lenders to relax their heavy dependency on excessive collateral. With a cumulative loss ratio of around 2% over the past 8 years, MEII believes it has proven the case that SME lending, when done properly, is not as risky as perceived.


Technical Assistance to Small and medium enterprises

MEII designs and implements innovative technical assistance programs that provide training directly to SMEs.  The goal is to help SMEs increase their ability to access credit by providing them with financial and accounting skills and tools that conform with requirements from lenders. Working directly with SMEs  helps narrow the information gap between borrower and lender.  An independent team of business advisors will identify and work directly with SMEs in order to develop adequate financial disclosure and planning so that both lender and potential borrower are communicating transparently in the language of finance.  This will help lenders appropriately structure credit-based-on-borrower cash flow capacity, and significantly improve the chances of successful loan restructuring when/if a borrower faces repayment difficulties.  

Partnering with local accounting software vendors, and universities, MEII provides its SME clients with an appropriate accounting software that meets their book keeping needs, and a university intern, as necessary, to assist the SME with journal entries and regular book keeping functions. As accounting data is compiled over time, the MEII business advisors can then review the SMEs’ performance based on their actual numbers, and help them understand the value of understanding their financial performance. In addition, the SMEs now have the capacity to periodically report their financial performance to their respective creditors.