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Amman, Jordan, November 19, 2014
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping a leading bank in Jordan extend banking services to more women in the country, as part of efforts to boost access to finance for women-owned firms and stimulate economic growth.
IFC is helping Bank al Etihad launch a new banking model that caters to women in Jordan, with a particular focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) owned by women. This will help women entrepreneurs, who currently comprise 25 percent of all businesses, access the financing they need to grow and create jobs.
"Our partnership with IFC has helped us diversify and innovate our banking services to reach financially underserved segments of the business community, strengthening our banking operations and increasing our footprint in the local market," said Nadia Al Saeed, General Manager of Bank al Etihad.
In Jordan, micro, small and medium enterprises are major contributors to economic growth and job creation, accounting for 98 percent of all businesses. However, only 11 percent of total bank lending in Jordan goes to the SME sector.
"Limited access to financial services can impede economic development and business progression”, said Xavier Reille, Advisory Services Manager, Financial Institutions Group for Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa. “Expanding financial inclusion and empowering women will help spur growth across sectors and build a stronger economy.”
Bank al Etihad is a fast-growing commercial bank with a network of 37 branches. It is also a partner bank in IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program.
The initiative is part of IFC’s strategy to improve access to finance for smaller firms, expand financial services to businesses, support women entrepreneurs, and create jobs. The project is also part of the World Bank Group’s MSME facility and was made possible with support from development partners UKaid, Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, 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 about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit
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