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IFC announces $10 million loan to support microbusinesses, women entrepreneurs

By JT - Nov 05,2018 - Last updated at Nov 05,2018

AMMAN — The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced recently it was providing a $10 million loan to a microfinance institution in Jordan, as part of an effort to support small businesses, entrepreneurs and women, an IFC statement said. 

IFC’s financing will help Tamweelcom, the country’s second-largest microfinance company, increase its outreach to small business owners as Jordan’s economy is hindered by a host of challenges, from rising unemployment to an influx of refugees, which have held back economic growth and pushed the poverty rate above 14 per cent, the statement said. 

“Our long-term strategic partnership with IFC continues to be aimed at sustainably expanding our reach across Jordan and the micro and small business sector where access to financial services is very limited,” said Niveen Abboushi, chairwoman of Tamweelcom. 

Jordan’s micro, small and medium enterprises account for over 90 per cent of businesses and comprise around 71 per cent of private sector employment. However, their access to formal financial services remains limited, with the sector getting just 10 per cent of total bank lending, the statement said, noting that a large number of unregistered home-based businesses and self-employed workers also have no access to bank financing. 

“Boosting financial inclusion is essential for building shared prosperity and eradicating poverty,” said Kudret Akgun, IFC’s regional industry manager of Financial Institutions Group in the Middle East and North Africa, adding, “micro and small businesses are also the engine of growth in many economies and it’s vital to ensure they have the access to the credit they need to grow and prosper”. 

The financing marks IFC’s third investment in Tamweelcom, as the corporation has also provided several advisory packages to Tamweelcom over the years to build its capacity in areas including sustainable energy/energy efficient products, risk management and business loan product development, the statement concluded.

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