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IFC lends Equity Bank Sh10bn to support SMEs and green projects

James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Bank Group, said the partnership with IFC will further strengthen its ability to deliver financial inclusion and green finance/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation has announced a $100 million (Sh10 billion) subordinated loan to Equity Bank Kenya to grow its lending operations Kenya.

IFC’s loan facility will assist Equity Bank increase its capital base and expand its lending program to small and medium enterprises and climate finance operations that support renewable energy, green buildings, energy efficiency, and climate-smart agricultural projects in Kenya.

IFC will also offer Equity Bank global knowledge in the SME and climate finance sectors, enhancing Equity’s ability to improve its environmental and social risk management system, develop a green lending strategy and build capacity for staff in key business units and target branches.

“Equity Bank’s expanded partnership with IFC will further strengthen our ability to deliver on a shared commitment to increasing financial inclusion and green finance. Equity Bank aims to disrupt the market by offering innovative financial products and services, and by pushing ourselves to ensure access to financial services are more readily available in Kenya,” said James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Bank Group.

Through its foundation, Equity Group has trained nearly two million low-income women, youth, and micro-entrepreneurs in financial literacy, and 25,303 micro and small-scale entrepreneurs in advanced small business development.

“Our loan to Equity Bank helps an existing client expand and strengthen its lending in key areas. It promotes IFC’s climate action strategy in the financial sector, mainstreaming climate across different areas, including small and medium businesses,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa.

Equity Bank is an existing IFC client and previous loans have helped support the growth of the Bank’s SME portfolio.

The new loan supports the World Bank Group’s Climate Action Plan, which aims at increasing IFC’s global climate-related portfolio from 21 to 28 percent by 2020, with a total potential financing of $29 billion annually by 2020.

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