The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group, has given a KSh1.1 billion ($10 million) loan to I&M bank Rwanda, to enable the bank to increase lending to thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda.
The IFC loan is the first of its kind in Rwanda, and is part of the global $8 billion COVID-19 facility, unveiled in March to help businesses throughout the world to stay in operation and maintain jobs during—and after—the COVID-19 crisis.
I&M Bank Rwanda is a subsidiary of NSE listed I&M Holdings. The Rwanda-based company successfully completed a rights issue in November which was oversubscribed by 12%.
The credit facility by IFC will provide I&M Rwanda with additional liquidity to support its operations in the current challenging economic environment.
“IFC is our long term partner, and this funding of $10 million will allow us to meet the increasing financial needs of our small business customers as they recover from the negative impact caused by the COVID-19 crisis,” said I&M Rwanda CEO Robin Bairstow.
Small and Medium sized businesses form the bulk of companies in Rwanda. However, nearly 25% of the businesses lack access to affordable credit. IFC has previously offered support and continues to support key areas in Rwanda such as, agribusiness, affordable housing, inclusive finance, and sustainable infrastructure projects. As at the end of June this year, IFC’s investment in Rwanda amounted to $62.8 million (KSh6.996 billion).