Press Releases

IFC Help Banks Increase Small Businesses Access to Finance in MENA

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 24 619 140

Cairo, Egypt, April 12, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping bankers develop financial products to improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises.  

IFC, in collaboration with the government of Japan, organized training for bankers in Cairo from April 12 to April 15.  More than 40 bankers and trainers from 30 institutions from 12 countries participated in the program, which included sessions essential to building a sustainable SME banking operation such as product design, credit risk management, and support functions.

Small and medium enterprises, accounting for more than 90 percent of registered companies in the world, are a major driver for economic growth and job creation. Their role is even more important in the post-crisis period. Yet small businesses often lack access to financial products and services, especially in developing countries. IFC advises financial services providers on how they can profitably develop operations for small and medium businesses and increase their access to financial services.

“In many countries the majority of jobs are provided by SMEs.  They are vital to national economies and need access to financial services to increase productivity of their business, develop new markets, and hire more people,” said Peer Stein, Global Business Line Leader of IFC’s Advisory Services in Access to Finance. “These trainings provide banks working with SMEs the specific skills and knowledge to implement or enhance their SME Finance programs.

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by sharing international best practices and guidance on increasing access to financial services for small businesses.

For more information about IFC’s banking program for small and medium enterprises, visit

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit