IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping DAVR-BANK expand its financing for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and women-owned businesses across Uzbekistan. While these business groups were already constrained from accessing finance, the COVID-19 pandemic made the situation worse. IFC’s $5 million investment will provide critical working capital to help them continue their operations and stay afloat during the ongoing public health crisis.
This is the first time IFC has allocated funds separately for women entrepreneurs as part of a financing package to a bank in Uzbekistan. Women-owned MSMEs represent around 23 percent of all businesses in Uzbekistan and face an estimated financing gap of $2.7 billion.
“We are committed to catering to the financing needs of small businesses and women-owned small and medium enterprises,” said Abdumajid Samadov, Chairman of the Management Board of DAVR-BANK. “By launching this new partnership with IFC, we will be able to extend financing to many more MSMEs and women-run businesses helping them grow and expand over the next couple of years.”
“Limited access to finance has traditionally been a barrier to growth for women-owned businesses and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on them has made the situation far worse,” said Cassandra Colbert, IFC Regional Manager for Central Asia. “Now more than ever, there is a clear need to support institutions that are committed to providing financial services to female entrepreneurs and small businesses.”