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IFC Partners with Guyana’s Small Business Development Finance Trust Inc. to Expand Financial Services for Small Entrepreneurs


In Washington, D.C.:
Adriana Gomez, IFC
Phone: (202) 458 5204
E-mail: agomez@ifc.org

In Guyana:
Manjula Brijmohan, Managing Director, SBDF
Phone: +592-223-6166
E-mail: manjulabrijmohan@gmail.com


Georgetown, Guyana, July 27, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing an integrated package of investment and advisory services to Guyana’s Small Business Development Finance Trust Inc to help the company grow its client base of micro, small, and medium enterprises.
 
IFC’s convertible financing of 60 million Guyana dollars ($300,000 equivalent) will allow SBDF to more than triple its client base and expand from 540 to 2,000 loans a year. IFC also is providing advisory services to give SBDF the necessary tools to formalize its lending operations operations and enhance its ability to develop a more sustainable business model. IFC’s support will help pave the way for SBDF to become a regulated financial institution. The advisory project is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), a key donor partner to IFC Advisory Services in the English-speaking Caribbean.
 
“Our main objective is to strengthen the MSME sector through increased access to lending, technical support, and nontraditional financial facilities,” said Manjula Brijmohan, SBDF’s Managing Director. “IFC’s support will help us implement our vision for expanding our lending program, particularly to rural Guyana.”
 
SBDF provides financing and technical support for individuals without access to  Guyana’s formal financial sector, including street vendors, small rice farmers, women, and shop owners.

Kirk Ifill, IFC representative for the English Caribbean, said: “IFC’s support to SBDF is part of our strategy to expand access to formal credit for low-income entrepreneurs in Guyana, a country where banking penetration remains under 30 percent. IFC’s integrated approach, providing financing and advisory services, aims to help SBDF become more sustainable in the long term. This partnership is key in our efforts to helping create opportunities for low-income people in Guyana.”

The High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana, Charles Court, noted: “In 2002, Canada, through the Canada Fund Support, helped SBDF to set up its office. This new Canadian contribution to SBDF will help foster the development of micro finance in Guyana, a country that has the human and physical resources that can benefit from this type of support from development financial institutions.”  

IFC is expanding operations in the Caribbean, focusing on helping develop the financial sector to generate sustainable growth and improve competitiveness. The SBDF investment demonstrates IFC’s commitment to building long-term partnerships with local financial institutions.
 
As of July 2009, IFC’s committed portfolio in the Caribbean region totaled $539 million. Since 2000, IFC has provided and mobilized more than $1.3 billion in financing for the Caribbean.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal year 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
 
About the Small Business Development Trust Finance Inc
SBDF was established in 2001, driven by the increased demand for credit in the micro-small enterprise sector. Its mission is to strengthen the economic base of the micro and small-scale entrepreneur in Guyana through increased access to lending and technical support. Since its inception, SBDF has granted more than 4,000 loans, for a total portfolio amount of over $2.8 million, which has led to an estimated 7,153 new jobs in Guyana. SBDF emphasizes creating asset base in businesses, which helps improve mechanization and productivity. Also, this type of investment gives clients a sense of belonging and decreases chances of outward mobility (migration).