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IFC Makes First-Ever Investment in Timor-Leste, Helps Women in Business

Dili, Timor-Leste, September 11, 2013 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has made its first investment in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste with a $500,000 convertible loan to Tuba Rai Metin, a microfinance organization that serves Timorese women and small businesses. IFC will help TRM expand its business and change from a not-for-profit organization into a regulated financial institution.
“Only 15 percent of Timorese business people are able to access financial products, but through this partnership with IFC, Tuba Rai Metin can offer 40 percent more services and help achieve the central bank’s recently launched development plan, which aims to expand our country's financial sector,” said Angelo Soares, chief executive officer of Tuba Rai Metin.
Tuba Rai Metin means “standing firmly on the ground” in the local Tetum language. The organization offers savings products and loans, including one specifically designed for small and medium enterprises, where most Timorese women work.
“More than 90 percent of TRM’s customers are female, and women generally put business profits back into the household or children’s education,” said Gavin Murray, IFC’s regional manager for the Pacific region. “Therefore, increasing the organization’s capacity will bring long-term improvements for families across Timor-Leste.”
This is IFC’s first loan in Timor-Leste, a country whose economic growth has been impeded by conflict, including severe violence in 2006. As part of its Timor-Leste program, IFC is working with the private sector to widen access to the financial products that allow micro, small and medium businesses to grow.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
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About Tuba Rai Metin
Founded in 2001, Tuba Rai Metin is one of only two microfinance organizations to survive the 2006-2007 civil riots in Timor-Leste. The company has grown rapidly in the last four years to encompass operations in all 13 districts of Timor-Leste, servicing more than 7,500 customers and employing 118 staff across the country. For more information on TRM, visit www.tubaraimetin.com .