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IFC, Coca-Cola Join Forces to Support Thousands of Women-Owned Businesses in Emerging Markets


In Washington:
John McNally, IFC

Phone: +1 202 458 0723

E-mail:
jmcnally@ifc.org

In Lagos:

Ejura Audu

Phone: +234 803 494 6244

E-mail:
eaudu@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., March 11, 2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and The Coca-Cola Company today announced a $100 million, three-year joint initiative to provide much-needed access to finance for thousands of women entrepreneurs in Africa and other emerging markets.

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.


“Women entrepreneurs represent significant untapped economic potential in developing countries—they are essential for creating jobs and achieving sustainable growth,” said James Scriven, IFC Director of Financial Markets. “This innovative collaboration with Coca-Cola will help expand access to finance for thousands of women who are part of the company’s supply and distribution chain.”


Nathan Kalumbu, president of Coca-Cola’s Eurasia and Africa Group, 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 joint initiative with Coca-Cola will occur under a memorandum of understanding between IFC’s Banking on Women Program and Coca-Cola’s 5by20 initiative, which by 2020 aims to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs and help them to overcome the barriers they face to business success.


Initially, the partnership will mainly benefit women-owned SMEs in Coca-Cola’s value chain in Nigeria.  These SMEs will gain increased access to finance through IFC’s investment in a $22 million risk-sharing facility with Access Bank of Nigeria, in close collaboration with Coca-Cola’s partner, the Nigerian Bottling Company PLC.  


IFC also announced an additional $50 million loan to Access Bank Nigeria to help it expand lending to SMEs, a quarter of which will be women-owned. These investments mark 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.


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-dollar 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.