Sustainability  ESG Resources for Companies

SME and Value Chain Solutions

What we do

IFC’s SME and Value Chain team provides solutions to private sector clients - including many IFC investment clients - that promote their financial sustainability; improve the way their products and services reach customers; and strengthen and grow their value chains in emerging markets.

By combining finance solutions with global sector knowledge, tools and approaches, IFC enables small businesses in the value chains of its clients to grow and increase their profitability, find new markets or integrate more effectively within existing markets.

IFC’s programs can result in improved skills of company staff and greater loyalty of suppliers, retailers and clients within corporate value chains; paving the way for increased sales, more satisfied customers, improved compliance with labor standards, and more competitive value chains.


How we do it

IFC partners with companies whose value chains integrate large numbers of suppliers and retailers within different sectors like agribusiness, construction, financial services, extractives, manufacturing, telecoms, retail and tourism. Evidence has demonstrated that by partnering with large companies, IFC programs can reach a larger number of SMEs, including women and youth.

To promote entrepreneurship, IFC has developed targeted business training tools (such as Business Edge and SME Toolkit) which - when combined with innovative adult learning approaches - can help SMEs increase productivity, efficiency and capacity, and improve their access to finance and new markets. IFC offers practical management training adapted to the local business context, in local languages for entrepreneurs.

IFC has also partnered with the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Better Work, an innovative partnership programme which aims to improve both compliance with labour standards and competitiveness in global supply chains. Better Work has a significant and direct impact through its own country-based programs in the garment sector, as well as indirect impact through its influence, knowledge sharing and partnerships.

In addition, IFC works with financial institutions to expand and strengthen their customer base through access to information and skills, including financial literacy and business planning. Such training facilitates improved access to finance by enhancing the readiness of micro and small borrowers to receive credit, and increases the confidence of the financial institution to lend to this market segment.



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Neal Donahue |