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São Paulo, Brazil, April 18, 2013 -
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping banks develop their product offerings and improve their ability to provide access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are a major driver of economic growth and job creation in Latin America and the Caribbean.
To support these efforts, IFC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Government of Japan, and the Canadian International Development Agency, is organizing a regional conference on SME banking in São Paulo, Brazil, from April 25-26,
2013. The conference will provide an opportunity for financial institutions to share knowledge and discuss their experiences in scaling up services for SMEs, and highlight opportunities for further growth in this segment.
“Expanding access to financial services for SMEs is a strategic priority for IFC,” said Ghada Teima, IFC Access to Finance Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Through this two day conference, we are bringing together experts and practitioners from around the world to share their experiences. As stakeholders in the financial community, we have an opportunity to learn from each other. Together, we can help take SME banking to scale."
More than 200 banking executives, SME experts, international development specialists and entrepreneurs from 100 institutions representing 21 countries are expected to attend the event. Discussions will cover topics such as strategy and market segmentation, product design, innovations in credit risk management, and women in banking.
SMEs contribute around a third of GDP in developing countries and more than 45 percent of overall employment. However, in many countries, including in Latin America and the Caribbean, access to financial services for SMEs remains severely constrained.
Over the past decade, IFC has played a critical role in helping SMEs worldwide gain greater access to financing by providing equity, loans, and mezzanine finance to financial intermediaries focusing on SME finance, and by building the capacity of these financial intermediaries in terms of best SME banking practices.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. IFC helps developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, IFC’s investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
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