South Africa: IFC Initiates Push to Support South African SMEs With Firstrand

Jul 01, 2017 | PR Newswire (New York); All Africa

IFC has designed the SME Push Program to channel up to R26-39 billion ($2-3 billion) investment into South Africa SMEs over the next 5-7 years.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a loan of up to R2.6 billion ($200 million) to FirstRand, in a transaction that launches a broader program aimed at expanding SME lending and strengthen support for small and medium enterprises by the formal banking sector. IFC has designed the SME Push Program to channel up to R26-39 billion ($2-3 billion) investment into South Africa SMEs over the next 5-7 years through a comprehensive package including investments, risk sharing facilities, and advisory services. IFC developed the SME Push Program in South Africa to complement government policies aimed at expanding lending to small and medium enterprises and spur job creation in the country. The SME Push Program aims to create partnerships with the country's largest banks to significantly increase their lending to unserved and underserved segments of the SME market, which is the largest source of employment in the country. Andries du Toit, FirstRand Group Treasurer said, "FirstRand is committed to SME financing, as we recognise the key contributions smaller businesses make to economic growth and job creation in the country. The partnership with IFC is in line with the group's continued support of developing the sector." Read more on All Africa. Source: All Africa