IFC's Priorities in Financial Institutions

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Working with local financial intermediaries allows IFC to support far more micro, small, and medium enterprises than we would on our own.

IFC is committed to the World Bank Group goal of achieving universal access to finance by 2020.

In order to do this, IFC works with about 800 financial institutions with products including investment and advisory support for microfinance, insurance, loans to small and medium enterprises and women-owned businesses, and low- and medium-income mortgages.

Our work in more than 100 countries has helped strengthen financial institutions and systems, reinforcing responsible finance, enabling them to play a constructive role in economic growth, and introducing environmental and social standards in many clients for the first time.

IFC clients, directly or indirectly, were able to provide 7.6 million loans to small businesses worth a total of $243 billion, and 51 million microloans to individuals, worth $59 billion in 2015.

Our expertise and advice help our clients address systemic issues such as risk management, corporate governance, and the introduction of environmental and social standards. We also encourage financial institutions to become more involved in strategic sectors that are important to the development agenda, including women-owned businesses, trade finance, climate change, and agri-finance, and underserved regions such as fragile and conflict-affected states.


Definition of Targeted Sectors

Use of proceeds of IFC’s targeted FI investments are primarily directed to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women-owned businesses, climate-related projects and housing finance. To learn more about how these sectors are defined for the purpose of IFC’s investments click here.