Microfinance partnerships 'can boost small business activity'

Feb 01, 2010

The International Finance Corporation's development of trade finance could boost the activity of small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa, the World Bank President has said.

Speaking at the African Union Summit in Ethiopia on Sunday January 31st, Robert B Zoellick stated that partnerships with microfinance organisations have been an important part of giving small businesses greater access to finance during the global recession.

He is quoted in Microfinance Focus as stating: "Scaling up trade finance through the International Finance Corporation - the World Bank's private sector arm - has been another key element of our response to the crisis."

Regarding the International Finance Corporation's $789 million (€567.5 million) of approved trade lines in Africa, Mr Zoellick added: "Over 80 per cent of the trade finance supports small to medium-sized enterprises."

The International Finance Corporation runs two Solutions Centres for small and medium-sized enterprises – which are located in Madagascar and Kenya.

It aims to promote access to finance and support small businesses at varying stages of their development.