Kigali, Rwanda, December 2018 - IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a two-year $500,000 advisory
project with I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc.to
expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises.
The engagement follows IFC’s $10 million
subordinated loan to I&M Bank (Rwanda)
in May 2018 to strengthen the bank’s
capital base, and help it increase lending to small enterprise. The advisory
project with I&M Bank, the oldest Bank in the country and one of the
largest, is the first for IFC in Rwanda.
By promoting increased access to finance
for underserved SMEs, I&M Bank is supporting the Government's National
Strategy for Transformation and the Vision 2050, focused on transforming
the country into a knowledge-based, middle-income country, and a regional
technology and finance hub.
Robin Bairstow, Chief Executive Officer of I&M
Bank (Rwanda) Plc., said, “By working
with IFC to build strong banking products for small business customers,
we will reach more SMEs to drive growth in the country.”
Manuel Moses, IFC Country Manager,
said, “SME finance is an important tool to create jobs.
It’s not just about making more finance available; it’s about creating
opportunities for small businesses to thrive.”
SMEs account for 98 percent of all businesses in Rwanda, and contribute
more than half of its total gross domestic product. However, small businesses
struggle to access finance, leading to an estimated $1.2 billion credit
gap. IFC’s advisory project will promote access to finance for SMEs, with
a special focus on women-owned businesses.
Faustin Byishimo, Executive Director
and Divisional Head for Business Development of I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc.
said, “This Bank’s strategic initiative is the first of its kind in the
country. The partnership with IFC is the start of a great journey towards
positioning the Bank as the SME go to financial institution for both their
financing and transaction banking requirements.”
Riadh Naouar, Manager for Financial
Institutions Group Advisory in the Middle East and Africa,
said “When we work with partners to increase small business access to
finance, we build strong businesses that can create jobs and drive economic
IFC is playing a significant role
in improving finance access for SMEs, which are a source of growth, jobs
and innovation. However, access to finance remains a leading constraint
to SME growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 350 million new jobs will be
needed in the next 20 years. Small businesses account for 30 to 60 percent
of the gross domestic product and 67 percent of jobs in the region. Globally,
in FY18, our clients provided nearly $365 billion in SME loans.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In FY18, we delivered $23.3 billion
in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of
the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org
About I&M Bank (Rwanda)
Established in 1963, I&M Bank
Rwanda (formerly Banque Commerciale du Rwanda Limited - BCR) is a leading
Financial Services Provider with a regional presence in Africa. In
Rwanda, the company's product offering includes Business Banking, Personal
Banking, Institutional as well as Corporate Banking. The Bank has a proven
track record in pioneering innovative financial services and supporting
the Republic of Rwanda’s strategy for Financial Inclusion.