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IFC Helps to Increase Access to Financial Services for Women in Poland


In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: +7 985 411 3986
E-mail: nbukova@ifc.org

Warsaw, Poland, August 09, 2016—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing BZ WBK Leasing with a $150 million loan to boost access to finance for women-owned firms and smaller businesses, part of an effort to spur growth and increase shared prosperity across the country.

The project builds on a roundtable discussion organized by IFC for Polish financial institutions in Warsaw in March 2016 and will help address the lack of long-term finance opportunities for women and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country’s less developed regions.

“Financing dedicated to women is a new area for us and the Polish financial market,” said Tomasz Jąder, Vice President of BZ WBK Leasing. “With IFC’s support, we hope to tap into this vast market and create opportunities for more Polish women to develop their businesses and spur growth in the country.”

BZ WBK Leasing is part of Bank Zachodni WBK Group. It offers financing for both small and medium enterprises and corporate clients. The company finances mostly machinery, equipment, and vehicles for companies in a range of industries.

“Smaller and women-owned businesses represent a huge market for financial services globally and in Poland,” said Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia. “The vast pool of untapped female borrowers remains a missed opportunity for banks and slows private sector development. With this transaction, we hope to take an important step in developing banking products focused on women clients in Poland and spreading sustainable economic growth.”

Thanks to a broad product offering and the ability to finance a wide range of assets and sectors, BZ WBK Leasing is one of the top three leasing companies in Poland. With IFC’s financing, by 2020, the company plans to increase the proportion of its portfolio directed to women-owned businesses to 18 percent from 13 percent, and increase the size of its portfolio in less developed regions by 35 percent.

IFC began investing in Poland more than 25 years ago and has supported many projects in construction materials, hospitality, financial markets, and other sectors. Today, in line with the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy, IFC in Poland is looking to support projects in areas where IFC can have a catalytic effect, facilitate resource mobilization, co-finance European Union-funded projects, and support the international expansion of Polish companies.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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