Access to financial services for SMEs remains severely constrained in many emerging markets in the wake of the global financial crisis. Even as liquidity is restored to financial institutions, lending volumes are lower than before, and SMEs still have limited access to financing. More than 17 million formal SMEs in emerging markets have unmet credit needs. The gap is estimated to be between $900 billion and $1.1 trillion for SMEs in those markets.
Increasing access to finance for SMEs is a key focus for IFC. It is best achieved by increasing the depth and breadth of local financial markets and boosting competitiveness of the private financial sector. IFC is active through investments in existing financial intermediaries and accompanying advisory support.