Small and medium-sized enterprises across West Africa need long-term financing to grow, but they often lack access to finance because of real and perceived risks of investing in the region. Women-led businesses in particular have limited access to hard assets, business training, and market information, which limits their ability to access credit.
Our Solution & Impact:
In support of Prosper Africa, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have teamed up to support lending to small and medium-sized enterprises across West Africa, growing local economies to create jobs and promote stability.
With a $14.75 million loan guarantee from DFC and first-loss capital from USAID, the Cordaid Foundation’s impact investment management firm will support lending to small and medium-sized enterprises in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Sierra Leone. Cordaid expects to lend at least $37 million to 50 small and medium-sized enterprises and eight microfinance institutions by 2025, supporting at least 2,100 new jobs and 8,000 microentrepreneurs.
With this support, Cordaid will also address disparities facing women in the region with at least 30 percent of its loans slated to support businesses that are owned or led by women, or that offer a product or service that delivers tangible benefits to women.
“This project will reach thousands of entrepreneurs in several fragile countries that are facing significant economic challenges, including from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This project advances our commitment to focus on the regions where investment is needed most.”
Dev Jagadesan Acting DFC Chief Executive Officer