Africa | March 13, 2024

IFC extends $20 million to Burundi bank to bolster small business lending

Lucy Ngige
Guest Author

Lucy Ngige

The International Finance Corp. and a group of institutional investors have extended a $20 million loan to Banque de Crédit de Bujumbura to expand access to financing for thousands of small and informal businesses in Burundi. Half of the funding is earmarked for female entrepreneurs.

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 71% of its population living below the poverty line. The East African nation’s small businesses face a $491 million financing shortfall. An additional $5 million from IFC’s global trade finance program will support lending to local exporters and importers. 

Bridging the gap

The investment is part of IFC’s $1 billion Base of the Pyramid strategy to address the small business financing gap in emerging markets. Formal and informal micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises represent more than 90% of Burundi firms.

The IFC’s investment, says Mary Porter, will provide them with “better access to the funding they need to grow and create jobs.”