International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. IFC helps developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. IFC's Banking on Women is playing a catalyzing role helping financial institutions and corporate partners like The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), and chambers of commerce to profitably and sustainably serve businesses owned by women, focusing on regions and countries that have strong enabling ecosystems for small and medium enterprises and large numbers of women entrepreneurs.
In March 2013, TCCC and IFC announced a $100 million, three-year joint initiative to provide access to finance for women entrepreneurs in Eurasia and Africa. The collaboration builds on the synergies between TCCC's 5by20 women's economic empowerment initiative and IFC's Banking on Women program to help address barriers women entrepreneurs commonly face in some of the world's poorest countries. Through the joint-initiative, IFC will work through its network of local and regional banking institutions to provide financing and business skills training to small- and medium-sized businesses that are owned or operated by women entrepreneurs across TCCC's value chain.
Work related to this initiative began in Nigeria, where TCCC and IFC are working with Access Bank to provide financing to women micro-distributors (MDCs) in the Coca-Cola value chain, in close collaboration with our bottling partner, Nigerian Bottling Company.