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IFC Partners with ACTB Savings and Loans to Support Small Business Growth in Sierra Leone

 IFC Partners with ACTB Savings and Loans to Support Small Business Growth in Sierra Leone

Freetown, Sierra Leone, March 12, 2024 — To increase access to finance for micro and small businesses in underserved communities in Sierra Leone, IFC today announced a local currency loan to ACTB Savings and Loans, a leading microfinance institution that serves mainly women-run businesses in the country.
IFC's $3 million loan in Sierra Leonean leones equivalent will allow ACTB to increase local currency lending to smaller businesses in the country, supporting economic activity and job creation.
It is anticipated that roughly 70 percent of new loans will go to women borrowers, in line with ACTB's current customer base. ACTB focuses especially on lending to women because of the impact it delivers to them and to their families and communities.
Micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) are crucial to Sierra Leone's economy, comprising 90 percent of private sector businesses and providing livelihoods to about 70 percent of the population. IFC's loan to ACTB will broaden access to finance for these smaller businesses, helping them expand their operations and improve their productivity.
"The signing of this agreement is a significant step in our mission to increase our impact in Sierra Leone," said David Kamara, CEO of ACTB Savings and Loans. "This loan will better enable MSMEs to obtain the financial services they require in a market where over 70 percent of Sierra Leoneans remain financially excluded. Together with IFC, we aim to bridge that gap and foster a more inclusive and resilient economy."
"Financial inclusion is essential for sustainable development, and our partnership with ACTB demonstrates our shared commitment to it," said Dahlia Khalifa, IFC Regional Director, Central and Anglophone West Africa. "IFC's investment will help smaller businesses access the funding they need to maintain and grow their operations and support job creation. This partnership is consistent with our strategy to support a stronger, more inclusive economy in Sierra Leone."
In addition to providing financing and building on previous advisory support IFC delivered to ACTB, IFC today announced it would help the microfinance institution develop its five-year business plan and strengthen its strategic focus in the market.
IFC's loan is supported by the International Development Association's Private Sector Window Local Currency Facility (IDA PSW LCF) and is provided by IFC's Base of the Pyramid Platform (BOP), which helps financial services providers deliver critical funding to small and informal businesses, and low-income households.
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