Press Releases

IFC Helps Azerbaijani Microfinance Institution Enhance Services for Entrepreneurs

In Baku:
Rasmina Gurbatova
Phone: (+99412) 497-8981

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 19, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping CredAgro, a leading microfinance institution in Azerbaijan, improve corporate governance practices and strengthen its capacity to better serve and promote sustainable development of entrepreneurs in rural areas.

CredAgro is the first microfinance institution to join IFC’s Azerbaijan Corporate Governance Project, which works with local companies to help them become more sustainable. IFC will assess the company’s corporate governance practices and develop tailored improvement plans to help align it with international best practices.

“Good corporate governance will increase the efficacy of our mission to enable access to finance for microentrepreneurs, particularly in underserved areas,” said Eldar Jafarov, General Director of CredAgro. “Considering our plans to restructure the company, IFC’s tailored assistance offers a great opportunity to improve our governance standards.”

IFC will advise and train directors, managers, and key shareholders of the institution. IFC will also help revise corporate documents, improve financial reporting and information disclosure, internal control, and internal audit functions.  

“As the microfinance industry is important for private sector development, we are pleased that CredAgro, one of the leading microfinance institutions, is committed to improving its corporate governance practices,” noted Tania Lozansky, Head of Advisory Services for Europe and Central Asia. “We believe that better corporate governance at microfinance institutions will further benefit the ultimate customers and small and micro entrepreneurs, in particular, in the rural areas.”

CredAgro is a nonbank financial institution that serves some 15,000 microenterprises. It holds 17 percent of Azerbaijan’s total microfinance loan portfolio.

Since 2005 IFC’s Corporate Governance Project has been helping local companies and banks enhance operations and increase their ability to attract financing and investment.

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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit