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IFC Invests in Turkey’s Alternatif Bank to Help Boost Lending to Smaller Businesses and Women Entrepreneurs

Istanbul, Turkey, May 29, 2019 IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of $100 million to Turkey’s Alternatif Bank. The IFC loan will be utilized to increase lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with a particular focus on women-owned ones.
The 5-year maturity financing comprises $80 million from IFC’s own account and $20 million from the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP), funded by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, with IFC acting in its capacity as the implementing entity. At least 25 percent of the loan proceeds will be used to support Alternatif Bank’s lending to women owned or managed SMEs (WSMEs).
Alternatif Bank CEO Kaan Gür said: “We believe that the entrepreneurial spirit, perseverance and assiduity of women have an important place in the development of Turkish economy. We hope that this loan will contribute to support women entrepreneurs, create more jobs, facilitate new opportunities and finance more SMEs.”
Access to finance is one of the biggest constraints on business growth for SMEs in Turkey.  IFC’s loan will help unleash untapped potential for employment and economic growth.
“With this financing, we are addressing one of IFC’s key development priorities in Turkey - financial inclusion for underserved segments such as women entrepreneurs,” said Vittorio di Bello, IFC Regional Industry Head for Financial Institutions Group in Europe and Central Asia. “Access to long-term financing is a challenge in emerging markets, especially for SMEs, the backbone of Turkey’s economic activity. IFC’s partnership with Alternatif Bank in Turkey will ensure that smaller companies and women entrepreneurs will continue to have access to the funds they need to grow and create jobs.”
Helping to increase the share of Turkey’s women entrepreneurs by working with banks to provide them with financing or non-financial support such as training, and coaching is part of IFC’s strategy in Turkey. In the last decade, IFC has been working with Turkish banks to provide $61 million of financing for women entrepreneurs under its Banking on Women program, launched a program to support women in supply chains, engaged in efforts to progress the Women on Boards project and made a $75 million in the first gender bond in emerging markets.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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