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Tom Gibson

Position: 
Guest Lecturer
Tom Gibson

Tom Gibson has been promoting and providing risk capital finance for small and medium enterprises in developing markets for more than 25 years. He was founding president and later chairman of Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF), one of the largest global groups of private SME risk capital funds in developing markets, with more than $450 million under management and over 325 investments.

Since his departure from SEAF in 2001, Mr. Gibson has been advising primarily on the design, development, and documentation for new SME risk capital funds as well as providing training for fund managers and stakeholders in SME finance. His clients include, inter alia, the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development, Inter-American Development Bank, Millennium Challenge Corporation, numerous developing country governments, and private risk capital fund managers. Working in more than 70 countries, he has held in-depth, on-site, one-on-one investment related interviews with more than 500 SMEs. He is a frequent speaker at international fora on development finance and a guest lecturer at numerous business schools. Recent publications include: "High Impact Gazelles: Should They Be a Major Focus of SME Development?", co-authored with Hugh Stevenson and published by IFC; “Defining SMEs: Toward a Less Perfect Definition of Small and Medium Enterprises in Developing Countries” co-authored with Bert van der Vaart and published by the Brookings Institutions; and “Non-Traditional Investment Structures for Risk capital Financing of SMEs”, co-authored with Christopher Davis, published in Chinese in the trade journal, China Venture Capital.

Primary Classification: 
Degrees: 
  • B.A., University of the South, French, 1974
  • M.A., University of Virginia, French, 1981
  • Studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris
Selected Publications: 
  • “Non-traditional Investment Structures for Risk Capital Financing of SMEs”, China Venture Capital.
  • “High Impact Gazelles: Should They Be a Major Focus of SME Development?”, World Bank/IFC
  • “Defining SMEs: Toward a Less Imperfect Definition of SMEs in Developing Countries”, Brookings Institution.
  • “Shareholder Loan Funds for SMEs in Developing Countries”, USAID Technical Brief. 

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