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Impact investing in Tajikistan boosted by IFC-World Bank Group and Imon International partnership

Luxembourg - July 21st, 2022

Mikro Kapital, main shareholder of Imon International through its securitization fund Alternative, is pleased to announce that Imon International, the leading microfinance organization in Tajikistan, received a three-year $5 million equivalent loan in Tajik somoni to finance hundreds of MSEs that have struggled to access the local currency financing and support they need to grow post-COVID-19.

Imon International has a broad network around the country with more than 110,000 active borrowers. MSEs in rural and remote areas account for more than two-thirds of its client base. Since 2008, IFC has provided local currency funds to IMON International totaling $17.5 million to boost lending to micro entrepreneurs.

IFC’s The financing gap for micro, small, and medium enterprises in Tajikistan stands at about $1.45 billion, 18 percent of the aggregate GDP, according to the SME Finance Forum. With smaller businesses employing a third of the total workforce, that represents a major constraint to private sector growth.

Vincenzo Trani, President of Mikro Kapital said: “Mikro Kapital and its portfolio companies have always been focused on impact investments and social responsibility, with a particular attention on emerging countries and local SMES as they are the backbones of the economies”.

“Micro businesses represent a key source of income for a significant number of people in Tajikistan, especially in rural areas. IFC’s support will enable us to support more micro and small businesses across the country, fostering economic growth and job creation in a challenging economic environment and bolstering the resilience of the sector,” said Andrey Palka, Chairman of the Management Board of Imon International.

“IFC’s investment reinforces our commitment to boost access to finance in Tajikistan and spur private sector growth to create jobs and reduce poverty,” said Farukh Sultonov, IFC Country Officer for Tajikistan. “IMON International’s focus on microfinance and its strong track record in reaching out to the poor and underprivileged help drive sustainable economic development and are in line with IFC’s country strategy for Tajikistan.”

The project will benefit from the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window (http://ida.worldbank.org/psw), which helps de-risk investments in low-income countries. The partnership with Imon International is part of IFC’s Base of the Pyramid Program. Launched in 2020, it helps financial services providers deliver funding to small businesses, informal enterprises, and low-income households that have been hit by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imon International’s (https://www.imon.tj) other shareholders are the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) and the Pettelaar Effectenbewaarbedrijf N.V. – Triple Jump. All these well-known international shareholders support the activities of IMON International in the field of lending to micro and small businesses.

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. The company works in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.