Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, June
17, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a credit
line of up to EUR 4 million to MI-BOSPO to help the company expand its
reach to women entrepreneurs.
Microfinance plays a key role in alleviating
poverty and creating jobs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. IFC’s loan is designed
to support MI-BOSPO’s successful microlending program, which targets women
microentrepreneurs who have little or no access to the formal financial
system. This investment will make a significant contribution to poverty
reduction, with the loan expected to reach an estimated 3,000 women entrepreneurs
by the end of 2011.
“This loan will enable us to increase
financial support to the lower-income women entrepreneurs in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, which is particularly important during the current financial
crisis,” said Nejira Nalic, Director of MI-BOSPO. “It will also help
strengthen our developmental role, as microfinance provides means and opportunities
for Bosnian women to generate additional income and improve their living
Women make up nearly 52 percent of the
country’s working-age population but their labor force participation rate
is only 43 percent. Through this loan, MI-BOSPO will continue to provide
credit to the underserved while seeking to raise awareness about the valuable
role women can play in mainstream economic activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
IFC also is providing governance advice to MI-BOSPO.
Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern
Europe and Central Asia, said, “We are pleased to cooperate with MI-BOSPO
in addressing the financing needs of women entrepreneurs in Bosnia and
Herzegovina. The funding is expected to infuse additional liquidity to
support MI-BOSPO’s lending program. Microfinance is critical for poverty
alleviation during the current crisis as many women affected by the war
are the sole income generators in their families.”
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 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
MI-BOSPO is a leading microcredit organization
in Bosnia and Herzegovina targeting women. Its mission is to empower women
economically in the belief that economically empowered women can better
influence social change and contribute
to better quality of life within the family. MI-BOSPO was founded by the
Bosnian humanitarian organization, the Bosnian Committee for Help that
started microlending activities in March 1996, with the assistance of the
World Bank and the Danish Refugee Council. In 1999, Mi-Bospo became an
affiliate of Women’s World Banking, through which the company receives
support, advice, training, and information. For more information, visit