Financial Inclusion | March 13, 2024

IFC extends $20 million to Burundian 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. Burundi’s small businesses face a $491 million financing shortfall.

BCB is receiving an additional $5 million from IFC’s global trade finance program to support lending to local exporters and importers. 

The investment is part of the IFC’s $1 billion Base of the Pyramid strategy to address the small business financing gap in emerging markets. The investment, said Mary Porter, will provide them with “better access to the funding they need to grow and create jobs.”