IFC Gransts $10m Loan to Ipak Yuli Bank of Uzbekistan for SME Development and Women’s Economic Empowerment

IFC to Provide $10 Million Loan to Ipak Yuli Bank to Support SMEs in Uzbekistan

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a $10 million loan to Uzbekistan’s Ipak Yuli Bank. The aim is to strengthen the bank’s lending initiatives to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with a particular focus on businesses owned by women. This move is expected to drive inclusive economic growth in the country.

Ipak Yuli Bank is well-known for its strong presence and expertise in serving SMEs. With the financing from IFC, the bank will be able to enhance its lending portfolio and provide vital financing to SMEs. These small businesses play a crucial role in driving economic development and job creation in Uzbekistan.

A significant portion of the funds will be allocated to businesses owned by women, highlighting the commitment to promoting gender equality and empowering women economically.

Chairman of the Management Board of Ipak Yuli Bank, Saidabror Saydakhmedov, expressed gratitude for IFC’s support, emphasizing the loan’s role in enabling the bank to provide essential financial resources to SMEs and women-owned businesses. This, in turn, will contribute to their growth, job creation, and overall economic advancement in Uzbekistan.

The financial assistance aligns with IFC’s dedication to promoting sustainable and inclusive economic progress in Uzbekistan. By supporting SMEs and female entrepreneurs, IFC aims to stimulate entrepreneurship, boost productivity, and fight poverty.

IFC Director for Türkiye and Central Asia, Wiebke Schloemer, emphasized the vital role of small businesses in the economic landscape. Many SMEs, especially those led by women, face challenges in accessing financing. The collaboration with Ipak Yuli Bank aims to bridge this financing gap, thereby promoting inclusive economic growth and strengthening the position of female entrepreneurs.

This investment further strengthens the ongoing partnership between IFC and Ipak Yuli Bank, which began in 2018. Over the years, IFC has provided $25 million to the bank, supporting SMEs, including women-owned businesses and micro-enterprises engaged in trade.

The current funding comes from IFC’s Base of the Pyramid Program, which is an extension of the Fast-Track COVID Facility launched in 2021. This initiative empowers financial service providers to provide funding to small enterprises and vulnerable households, mitigating the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Established in 1990, Ipak Yuli Bank is a leading commercial bank in Uzbekistan, offering a wide range of banking services to SMEs, private entrepreneurs, and individual clients through its extensive network of branches and express centers.

IFC, as a prominent member of the World Bank Group, is the top global development institution focusing on the private sector in emerging markets. With operations in over 100 countries, IFC utilizes its resources, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing regions.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, IFC allocated a record $31.5 billion in the fiscal year 2021 to support private enterprises and financial institutions in emerging markets. This highlights the organization’s commitment to leveraging the private sector’s role in eradicating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity.

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