São Paulo, Brazil, April 18, 2013 -
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping banks develop their
product offerings and improve their ability to provide access to finance
for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are a major driver of economic
growth and job creation in Latin America and the Caribbean.
To support these efforts, IFC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Netherlands, the Government of Japan, and the Canadian International
Development Agency, is organizing a regional conference on SME banking
in São Paulo, Brazil, from April 25-26, 2013. The conference
will provide an opportunity for financial institutions to share knowledge
and discuss their experiences in scaling up services for SMEs, and highlight
opportunities for further growth in this segment.
“Expanding access to financial services for SMEs is a strategic priority
for IFC,” said Ghada Teima, IFC Access to Finance Manager for Latin America
and the Caribbean. “Through this two day conference, we are bringing together
experts and practitioners from around the world to share their experiences.
As stakeholders in the financial community, we have an opportunity to learn
from each other. Together, we can help take SME banking to scale."
More than 200 banking executives, SME experts, international development
specialists and entrepreneurs from 100 institutions representing 21 countries
are expected to attend the event. Discussions will cover topics such as
strategy and market segmentation, product design, innovations in credit
risk management, and women in banking.
SMEs contribute around a third of GDP in developing countries and more
than 45 percent of overall employment. However, in many countries, including
in Latin America and the Caribbean, access to financial services for SMEs
remains severely constrained.
Over the past decade, IFC has played a critical role in helping SMEs worldwide
gain greater access to financing by providing equity, loans, and mezzanine
finance to financial intermediaries focusing on SME finance, and by building
the capacity of these financial intermediaries in terms of best SME banking
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. IFC helps developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, IFC’s 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