DRC – Equity BCDC, a subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is set to receive a US$50 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to finance cash-starved small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
Access to capital is one of the greatest challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equity BCDC, which has 74 branches spread across the DRC will use the IFC loan to help small businesses fund their operations and expansion in the aftermath of the pandemic.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank, aims to boost economic activity and build resilience in the low-income nation after the devastation caused by the covid19 pandemic.
The institution plans to issue a 3-year loan in local currency to be directed to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women-owned businesses, climate-related projects and housing finance.
In addition, IFC will share its expertise and knowledge in the SME finance sector with Equity BCDC to help it grow its portfolio of Small and Medium Enterprises.
Equity BCDC emerged from the merger between Equity Bank Congo and Banque Commerciale Du Congo which was finalized in December 2020 and is the second-largest bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a balance sheet worth US$2.9 billion.
Equity BCDC is 75.5% owned by the Equity Group and 15% owned by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In March 2021, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has loaned US$102 million to Equity Group Holdings (EGH) to expand East and Central Africa to boost its ability to serve small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
Since September 2020, Equity Group Holdings has received a total of US$587 million to support SMEs.
This includes, a US$102 million from Proparco in October 2020, US$163 million loan facility signed with the European Investment Bank, a US$102 million Credit Facility with Leading European Development Banks DEG, FMO and CDC-UK, and a US$76.5 million Loan Facility with the African Guaranty Fund.
Equity Group currently has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia and DRC.
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