Washington, DC, October 10, 2014--
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement that will allow Cordaid of the Netherlands to provide $4.6 million in additional financing to IFC’s West Africa Venture Fund, focusing on small and medium enterprises in Sierra Leone and Liberia at this critical time as they battle the unfolding Ebola epidemic.
The investment will provide an extra boost to the $13.6 million West Africa Venture Fund, that was established in 2010, as part of IFC’s SME Ventures program which seeks to fund and train entrepreneurs in some of the world’s toughest markets.
Laure Wessemius Chibrac, Director of Investments at Cordaid, said, "Cordaid is stepping in to provide funding to an important investment vehicle with the capacity to reach and serve smaller businesses. We are confident that this funding will support good SME's and help them through this difficult time."
Mary Agboli, IFC Resident Representative in Sierra Leone said, "New funding from Cordaid for the IFC Ventures Fund in West Africa comes at a critical time. This is not just an African crisis, but a global crisis. Smaller businesses have been hit hard by the economic impact of Ebola and need support to maintain operations during this difficult time and position themselves to contribute to economic recovery when the crisis subsides."
The Fund is already supporting 20 companies, ten each in Liberia and Sierra Leone and had created 204 direct jobs and about 2000 indirect jobs. Eight of the companies are run by women, and meet the demand for basic quality services, such as a commercial bakery, hatchery, logistics and bottled water.
IFC’s SME Ventures program also operates in the Central African Republic, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal and Bangladesh. Through carefully selected fund managers, IFC’s program helps inform regulatory frameworks and provides a critical source of investment, expertise and job growth.
Cordaid's investment in WAVF is part of the Stability Impact Fund strategy to stimulate entrepreneurship in fragile contexts. The fund was established in 2013 and supports the whole scope of micro, small and medium enterprises in 12 fragile countries or regions, offering a combination of direct and indirect investments and conflict-sensitive Business Development Services trainings.
The World Bank Group has mobilized a $400 million financing package—including $230 million announced in August 2014 and an additional $170 million announced in September 2014—to help the three countries hardest hit by the epidemic contain the spread of infections, help communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and to improve public health systems throughout West Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY14, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $22 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
Stichting (foundation) Cordaid is one of the largest development aid organizations in the Netherlands. Cordaid creates opportunities for the world's poorest, most vulnerable and excluded people, regardless of race or religion, and provides world citizens with an opportunity to make their voices heard. Investing in entrepreneurship in developing countries provides people with an income, stimulates the economy, and strengthens flourishing communities. Cordaid has been investing in sustainable entrepreneurship for over 16 years. In September 2014, its total investments amount to 60 million euros, financing over 100 partners in 22 countries.