Amman, Jordan, March 27, 2014—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Bank al
Etihad that will help expand financial products and services to small and
medium enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan, boost employment and encourage economic
IFC, as a global expert in SME banking, will help Bank al Etihad design
a scalable SME banking model to identify and understand the needs of untapped
SME segments. IFC will make recommendations to enhance the credit underwriting
process and develop a value proposition for untapped markets in Jordan,
where micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for 98 percent
of business but only receive 11 percent of bank lending, and cannot get
the financing they need to expand.
“This partnership gives Bank el Etihad the opportunity to enhance a crucial
aspect of Jordan’s economy, and help small businesses expand to create
jobs,” said Nadia Al Saeed, General Manager of Bank al Etihad. “By improving
the services we offer, we can reach untapped markets with potential.”
The initiative is part of the IFC SME Banking Advisory Program, which provides
advisory services that help banks build a sustainable and profitable business
servicing SMEs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
“In developing economies in MENA, SMEs have trouble getting the finance
they need because of their limited resources, lack of collateral, and often
a perceived risk by lenders,” said Ahmed Attiga, IFC Country Manager in
Jordan. “This agreement will both reduce the risks to the lender and help
provide SMEs with the finance they need.”
Bank al Etihad is also a partner bank in the IFC Global Trade Finance Program.
The initiative is partially funded by IFC's MSME Facility, which is supported
by UKaid, Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the Canadian
International Development Agency, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the
world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit