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Amman, Jordan, March 27, 2014
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Bank al Etihad that will help expand financial products and services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan, boost employment and encourage economic growth.
IFC, as a global expert in SME banking, will help Bank al Etihad design a scalable SME banking model to identify and understand the needs of untapped SME segments. IFC will make recommendations to enhance the credit underwriting process and develop a value proposition for untapped markets in Jordan, where micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for 98 percent of business but only receive 11 percent of bank lending, and cannot get the financing they need to expand.
“This partnership gives Bank el Etihad the opportunity to enhance a crucial aspect of Jordan’s economy, and help small businesses expand to create jobs,” said Nadia Al Saeed, General Manager of Bank al Etihad. “By improving the services we offer, we can reach untapped markets with potential.”
The initiative is part of the IFC SME Banking Advisory Program, which provides advisory services that help banks build a sustainable and profitable business servicing SMEs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
“In developing economies in MENA, SMEs have trouble getting the finance they need because of their limited resources, lack of collateral, and often a perceived risk by lenders,” said Ahmed Attiga, IFC Country Manager in Jordan. “This agreement will both reduce the risks to the lender and help provide SMEs with the finance they need.”
Bank al Etihad is also a partner bank in the IFC Global Trade Finance Program.
The initiative is partially funded by IFC's MSME Facility, which is supported by UKaid, Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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
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