IFC Helps Countries in Europe and Central Asia Expand Access to Finance for Small Businesses

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The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, opened a conference here today to help countries in Europe and Central Asia explore the use of movable assets as loan collateral to improve access to finance for entrepreneurs and small businesses. 

The two-day event highlights movable assets-based financial products and global best practices to regional financial institutions. Participants have come from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uzbekistan, as well as the World Bank Group, according to IFC.

“To encourage greater growth in ECA, small businesses need much better access to finance,” said Zarina Odinaeva, IFC Project Manager. “In this regard, an effective tool is movable assets-based lending. This event will encourage broader adoption of this practice in the region.”     

Most small businesses have movable assets, such as vehicles, equipment, inventory, and accounts receivables. But financial institutions rarely accept these items as collateral. As a result, these businesses are unable to access the funds they need to grow and banks miss out on a viable market. Movable assets-based lending helps financial institutions unfreeze capacity and enable further growth. 

This initiative is part of IFC’s Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Project, implemented by the World Bank Group Finance and Markets Global Practice. The project aims to strengthen the financial infrastructure in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Western Balkans. The project is funded by the Government of Switzerland and Development Bank of Austria (OeEB). 


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