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IFC Helps GeoCapital Improve Corporate Governance to Boost Access to Finance

Tbilisi, Georgia, December 9, 2013— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Georgian Banking Training Center have committed to helping the microfinance firm GeoCapital improve its corporate governance, enabling it to provide broader access to finance.
GeoCapital, based in Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of Georgia, provides loans to individuals and small businesses that have little or no access to credit. IFC and its partner, the Georgian Banking Training Center, will analyze GeoCapital’s corporate governance practices and provide recommendations to improve those practices and help the company expand and improve operations. GeoCapital’s expansion will increase access to finance, the main constraint to growth for the country’s entrepreneurs.
“GeoCapital is growing quickly and we are always searching for ways to reduce risk for our investors,” said Ralph Burleson, Chairman of GeoCapital. “Establishing a culture of strong corporate governance is crucial to our continued success. We are delighted to work with IFC as we plan for our future.”
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus, said: “Microfinance is a critical tool to reduce poverty. GeoCapital is helping the Georgian population gain access to credit, which is a challenge, especially in remote regions. Our advisory service aims to support the company in its expansion plans, which will ultimately benefit its borrowers.”
This project is part of the IFC Corporate Governance Program in Europe and Central Asia, implemented in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Development Bank of Austria.  
Georgia became an IFC member in 1995. Since then, IFC has invested about $656 million in 51 projects across various sectors and supported regional projects developed in the country. IFC has also implemented a number of advisory projects focused on developing the private sector.
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 .
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