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Nigeria’s Access Bank and IFC Partner on SMEs and Women Entrepreneurs


In Lagos:
Ejura Audu

Phone: +234 803 494 6244

E-mail:
eaudu@ifc.org

In Washington:

John McNally, IFC

Phone: +1 202 458 0723

E-mail:
jmcnally@ifc.org


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 financial infrastructure.

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.



About IFC

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.

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About The Coca-Cola Company

The 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 at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo or check out our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com.