The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a €1.5 million loan to microfinance institution Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves, LLC (KRK), to increase lending to farmers, rural entrepreneurs, and other smaller businesses in Kosovo, fostering growth and job creation.
Medium to long-term funding is critical to developing Kosovo’s private sector and creating jobs, but it remains scarce across much of the country. KRK increases access to finance for farmers and smaller firms, which often face challenges when trying to secure funds from traditional commercial banks, according to IFC.
“IFC’s loan will help us increase lending in rural areas and support agriculture development in Kosovo,” said Lulzim Sadrija, CEO of KRK. “The majority of our portfolio consists of loans granted to individuals to finance their micro and small businesses, such as farming or animal breeding.”
Essential to Kosovo’s economy and job creation, agriculture accounts for an estimated 14 percent of GDP and employs around 20 percent of the population. As KRK’s loan portfolio focuses on Kosovo’s primary agriculture and agro-processing – more than 50 percent of loans and around 60 percent of customers –IFC’s loan will encourage broader growth in Kosovo’s agribusiness sector.
“By extending this loan to KRK, we are also signaling our confidence in Kosovo’s microfinance sector,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager of the Western Balkans. “Microfinance institutions are essential for the development of Kosovo’s rural areas and we continue to support increased access to finance for rural entrepreneurs.”