Business: IFC Banking Supports Thousands Of South African Businesses
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Launched in 2006 and funded by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), IFC’s South Africa (SA) SME Banking Program strengthened partner banks and non-bank financial institutions, helping them upgrade management information systems, train loan officers, and better understand how to service the important SME sector.
The program, which is closing this year, also helped businesses collect and record credit histories -- more than 13,000 emerging construction sector businesses recorded credit histories -- and access training and support from business development service providers. New products for SME lending were introduced by partner financial institutions, including rural finance, supply chain finance, trade finance and SME finance.
IFC’s support helped our financial partners make $192 million in loans to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), from grocery shops and bakeries to construction firms. A special focus was placed on increasing lending to businesses run by women and previously disadvantaged South Africans.
IFC and its partners, including Absa Bank, Sasfin Bank and Vengrow Capital partners, organized a one-day workshop in Johannesburg today to share lessons learnt from the successful SA SME Banking Program. The workshop addressed challenges faced by smaller businesses in Africa, and discussed how IFC supported initiatives are helping overcome these challenges.
Business News Sector Tags: Finance| Business|