In November 2014 InvesTT was approached by BizBooster, the Business Incubator of the UWI-ALJGSB to become a strategic partner in the Hidden Champions project of Trinidad and Tobago. The FINPYME Hidden Champions project is an initiative of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), a member of Inter-American Development Bank Group. The IIC’s mission as a multilateral financial institution is to promote the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting private businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
FINPYME is a Spanish acronym for Innovating Financing for SMEs. In the Caribbean region, the IIC launched the FINPYME Diagnostic program in the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, which was completed in 2012. It was the first of its kind in the region. Based on the results and feedback of the program the IIC have reached a consensus that the FINPYME program should continue to be offered in the region. In this context, the IIC is interested in launching a new initiative in the Caribbean called FINPYME Hidden Champions, in cooperation with the Export Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM).
The aim of Hidden Champions Project is to identify SMEs that have high potential for growth and to help them achieve further success through technical assistance. The IIC has selected the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business as the local agent for a Hidden Champions pilot project in Trinidad and Tobago. The role of the School will be to assist the IIC and KEXIM in the process of selecting a final list of three champions.
InvesTT was asked to identify at least ten Potential Hidden Champions (PHCs) by completing copies of the nomination form. The nominees should’ve been able to meet the following criteria:
1) SMEs; enough assets (at least 750,000.00TT), high annual sales (at least 1 million TT),and enough employees ( at least six employees)
2) competitive in the market with outstanding technology and skills
3) on a sustainable growth trend in recent years
4) managed by talented, ambitious CEOs who have good leadership and management skill
Investor Sourcing’s nominee 'Full Circle Animation Ltd.' was short listed for the final 10 companies of the Hidden Champion and was later short listed to the final 6 companies. The Korean EXIM bank and IADB visited their operations and while onsite made several enquiries into their operations. Two weeks later Full Circle was chosen as the Hidden Champions winner. Congrats to Full Circle!