Press Releases

IFC Helps Banks in Georgia Increase Lending to Small Businesses, Boosting Economy

In Tbilisi:  
Tamar Barbakadze
Phone: +995 32 23 43 00

In Washington, D.C.:

Leila F. Search
Phone:  (202) 473-7511

Tbilisi, March 9, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is training bankers in Georgia to develop their ability to provide financial services to small and medium-sized enterprises, thus helping create new jobs and sustain economic recovery.  

IFC, in collaboration with the governments of Austria and Japan, in Tbilisi from March 9 to March 11 is training bankers on building sustainable small and medium banking operations. The training program covers strategy and market segmentation, product design, credit risk management, and information management systems. Small and medium-sized enterprises are a major driver of economic growth and job creation, yet in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, smaller enterprises struggle to finance the growth of their businesses.

“Small businesses had more trouble than large firms in accessing finance during the economic crisis, however the SME sector proved to be more resilient and displayed greater flexibility in face of adverse shocks,” said Otar Nadaraia, Vice-President of the National Bank of Georgia. “IFC training will support Georgian banks and bankers to improve and strengthen access to finance for SMEs, thus leading to the creation of more job opportunities for the people of Georgia.”

More than 35 bankers and trainers from 19 institutions in Georgia are participating in the event, which is part of a training program developed by IFC’s Global SME Banking Program to help banks in emerging markets assess the potential benefits of targeting the small-business sector and to build or expand this line of business.  

“Small enterprises need easy-to-understand flexible loan and deposit products,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head for the Caucasus. “This training will help financial institutions to learn how to effectively integrate SME clientele and build on globally-tested models and approaches in serving the SME segment.”

IFC also has conducted similar trainings in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, the Caribbean and East Asia and Pacific. To learn more about IFC’s Global SME Banking Program, visit

IFC’s cumulative investments in Georgia since 1995 total nearly $500 million in 36 projects across a variety of sectors. Through its Advisory Services, IFC is working towards reform of Georgia’s tax system to benefit small businesses, and also is helping raise food safety standards. Georgia has been a member of IFC since 1995.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit