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Small businesses are considered important engines for job growth and economic development by policy makers worldwide. One of the most commonly cited constraints of small businesses is a lack of access to capital. To address this constraint, small business loan guarantee programs have been established in over 100 countries. There are a variety of types of guarantee funds, with the most significant differences being which borrowers are eligible for guarantees, and how borrowers are approved for guarantees. There is currently no clear delineation between types of programs and the economic conditions they operate in, though some trends are becoming apparent. However, these trends may not be leading to the best economic outcomes possible. By better matching the structure of the guarantee fund to the economic conditions it operates in, the program’s success in meeting economic development goals may be greatly improved. Many programs in developing countries may not be taking advantage of bank expertise and may be limiting the scope of their effectiveness. At the same time, programs in developed countries may be wasting resources by scattering their efforts too thinly and subsidizing less competitive firms to the detriment of local economic development.