IFC focuses its efforts where they make the greatest difference. We invest in the sectors and countries that the private sector is unwilling or unable to enter on its own, either because of an adverse economic situation or because business success has not been demonstrated there before. We also play a catalytic role for other project sponsors, including commercial banks, to invest in developing countries.
Workers from Mozal Smelter Expansion Project (Mozambique)
Priority Sectors for Development
IFC emphasizes sectors that have a high impact on the economies of developing countries, because they reach large numbers of people or benefit many other sectors of the economy. These priorities include the financial sector, health and education, infrastructure, information and communication technologies, and small and medium enterprises: together, they represent about 70 percent of IFC’s operations.
Clothmaker assisted by Society of the Deaf (Uzbekistan)
Technical Assistance -- Building Capacity for Business
IFC supports private sector development both by investing and by providing technical assistance and advisory services that strengthen businesses. Key capacity-building initiatives include training and advisory services for small and medium enterprises, investments in small business, and development facilities serving regions or addressing specific issues of sustainability.
Potato farmer in Magadan (Russia)
Sustainability -- A Broad Impact on Society
Through its Sustainability Initiative, IFC aims to ensure that environmental and social benefits are at the center of economic growth. As part of the World Bank Group, IFC is committed to helping reduce poverty and to furthering concrete progress toward the Millennium Development Goals that the international community has set for achievement by 2015.
Ford car assembly plant (Russian Federation)
Sustainability -- Improving Use of Resources
Focusing on sustainability makes good sense for business. IFC’s current work in the energy sector -- with utilities, private companies, and financial institutions -- provides examples of how innovative approaches to project finance can allow the private sector to achieve environmental benefits while enhancing profitability.