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IFC Helps KEP Trust Boost Access to Finance for Smaller Businesses and Farmers in Kosovo

Kosovo, Pristina, May 10, 2018— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a €2 million loan to microfinance institution KEP Trust (KEP), to increase lending to smaller businesses and farmers in Kosovo, fostering growth and job creation.
Medium to long-term funding is critical to developing Kosovo’s private sector and creating jobs, but remains scarce across much of the country. KEP focuses on small entrepreneurs and farmers, who often face challenges when trying to secure funds from commercial banks.
“IFC’s loan will help us increase lending in rural areas and support the development of agriculture and small businesses in Kosovo,” said Shpend Nura, CEO of KEP. “The majority of our portfolio consists of loans to individuals to finance their micro and small businesses, as well as farming and small-scale agribusiness.”
The investment comprises a €1.4 million loan for IFC’s own account and a €0.6 million loan from IFC, as the implementing entity for the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).
“By extending this loan to KEP, we are confirming our confidence in Kosovo’s microfinance sector,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe. “A more vibrant and competitive microfinance sector is essential for rural areas especially, and will help create more job opportunities and reduce poverty in Kosovo.”
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 FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a global effort that pools donor resources to fund programs focused on increasing agricultural productivity as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security. GAFSP targets countries with the highest rates of poverty and hunger. The Public Sector Window helps governments with national agriculture and food security plans. The Private Sector Window, managed by IFC, and supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, provides long- and short-term loans, credit guarantees, and equity to private sector companies to improve productivity growth, deepen farmer’s links to markets, and increase capacity and technical skills.
Founded in 1999, KEP is now the biggest MFI in the Kosovo market with a portfolio over 39 million EUR. KEP has 226 employees serving over 18,000 customers from its head office in Pristina and a country-wide network of 31 branches, with a strong footprint in rural areas.
KEP’s mission is to offer a wide range of micro loans, especially to people with limited access to the banking sector, including those in remote or rural areas, minorities and women. KEP’s vision is to be able to provide inclusive financial services to individual clients, farmers and micro and small entrepreneurs in Kosovo. Meeting clients’ financial need with high quality and efficiently, as well as building strong ties with communities, is at the center of KEP Trust’s aspiration. For more information, visit