Washington, D.C., March 11, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a N3.5 billion (equivalent
to $22 million) Risk Sharing Facility and s $50 million loan to Access
Bank Nigeria to help it expand lending to SMEs, a quarter of which will
be women-owned. The Risk Sharing Facility is part a $100 million, three-year
joint initiative with The Coca-Cola Company to provide access to finance
for thousands of women entrepreneurs in Africa and other emerging markets.
Under the joint initiative with Coca-Cola,
IFC will work through its network of local and regional banking institutions
to provide financing and business skills training to small and medium enterprises—or
SMEs—that are owned or operated by women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola
value chain, starting with an IFC investment in Access Bank, Nigeria.
Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Group Managing Director
of Access Bank, said, "Access Bank has been a leader in supporting
Nigerian women and their business enterprises. We are committed to finding
new ways to serving this valuable client base and remaining at the forefront
of making financial services more inclusive in Nigeria."
IFC’s latest transaction with Access Bank
extends a relationship that began in 2006. Access Bank was a pioneer in
taking up an IFC program aimed at increasing loans to women entrepreneurs.
It was recognized as the most active among IFC’s Global Trade Finance
Program issuing banks in Africa in 2009, and was the regional winner of
the Financial Times/IFC Sustainable Bank of the Year Award in 2011. Access
Bank is ranked in the top five banks in Nigeria, with subsidiaries in eight
African countries and one in the UK.
Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC’s Senior Country Manager for Nigeria, said,
"IFC is committed to supporting financial institutions that understand
the business value of creating new opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
Access Bank has been an important partner for IFC in that process in Nigeria
and it is once again leading the way.”
The IFC financing marks the first “blended”
funds to be distributed by IFC under its Global SME Finance Facility, supported
by donor funding from the United Kingdom. The facility aims to reduce the
risks and costs of lending to SMEs by sharing risks with banks, improving
their ability to identify and underwrite SMEs, and strengthening critical
Nathan Kalumbu, president of Eurasia and Africa Group, The Coca-Cola Company,
said, “Women entrepreneurs make significant contributions to emerging
and developing economies, yet have lower access to finance than their male
counterparts. By providing greater access to capital, we are investing
in our own success and the success of the communities we serve. We are
excited about this opportunity to harness the collective power of our organizations
to positively impact women in Eurasia and Africa.”
IFC’s Banking on Women program plays a catalytic role in bringing together
financial institutions and various partners to serve women-owned businesses
profitably and sustainably. It focuses on regions and countries that have
strong enabling environments for SMEs and large numbers of women entrepreneurs
in the supply and distribution chains of local, regional and global corporations.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About The Coca-Cola Company
Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is
the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than
500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most
valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features $16 billion brands including
Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute
Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider
of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks.
Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers
in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of more than 1.8
billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable
communities, our company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental
footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work
environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of
the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners,
we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000
system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey
follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo
or check out our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com.