Press Releases

IFC Holds Small Business Banking Conference in Lebanon to Boost Regional Development

In Beirut:
Thomas Jacobs
Phone: 961 1 987 800

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2 2461 4230

Beirut, Lebanon, January 24, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is holding a conference in Beirut for banks and financial institutions from the Middle East and North Africa on how to expand banking services to small and medium enterprises to spur economic growth and development and help create jobs.

The two-day conference provides an opportunity for local and regional bankers, executives of various financial institutions, regulators and entrepreneurs to share international best practices and success stories about targeting small businesses. The discussions will promote better understanding in the banking sector and will help banks reduce risks and unlock potential opportunities in this growing market.

“Limited access to finance remains a barrier to the region’s economic development,” said Dr. Saad Andary, Vice-Governor, Banque Du Liban, the Central Bank of Lebanon. “We believe that combining forces with our partners will enhance the region’s performance in financing small businesses by creating better awareness and understanding of market needs and demands.”

IFC is partnering with Banque du Liban and the Development Bank of Austria to help increase access to finance and other banking services for small businesses, and to encourage banks in the region to strengthen their small and medium enterprise banking operations.  

“Small and medium businesses contribute greatly to the economic development, diversification and social stability of the region and play an important role in private sector development,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Together with our partners, IFC is helping small companies to access banking services, grow their businesses and generate new jobs in their countries.”

This project is part of IFC’s Middle East and North Africa Bank Advisory Services Program to help regional banks strengthen their small business banking capacities and tap into the sector’s opportunities in a more effective, profitable and sustainable manner.

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, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit

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