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Equity Group receives Kshs. 19B from IFC for MSME lending



Equity Group has received a Kshs. 19 billion credit facility from the International Finance Corporation that will be channeled to supporting micro, small and medium-sized businesses under its Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Equity Group targets to finance at least 5 million MSMEs and 25 million households to create about 50 million direct and indirect jobs in the seven countries it has operations.

Equity Group Chief Executive Officer Dr James Mwangi said the Equity’s Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan’ has identified five pillars among them increasing agricultural productivity, the extractive sector, trade, and mainstreaming MSMEs as catalysts to economic recovery post Covid-19, as well as green energy funding.

This comes as IFC and the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund boosted its stake in the lender to 6.71%.

“As Equity Group, we are delighted to welcome IFC, a member of the World Bank Group to the Equity family as our second largest shareholder. With IFC’s reach as the largest global development institution focused on the private sector equity, we will be able to further advance economic development by empowering and catalyzing the transformation of the lives and livelihoods of the African people and will enhance the success and sustainability of Equity’s ‘Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan’.

To support clean energy generation and use, the Equity Group has resolved not to fund any coal related projects.

IFC Vice President, Risk and Finance, Mohamed Gouled said the plan was in line with IFC’s strategy to help create jobs, respond to climate change, and leverage opportunities afforded by the digital economy.

“Supporting small businesses, digital financial services and climate-friendly projects is central to IFC’s strategy in Africa to help create jobs, respond to climate change, and leverage the opportunities afforded by the digital economy. IFC’s deepening partnership with Equity Group reflects that strategy and will support economic growth in Africa as the continent recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gouled.

Equity Group plans to leverage its regional footprint and financial capability to support MSMEs and driving their inclusion into formal value chains, champion access to trade and investment opportunities, and promoting investment in agriculture and renewable energy by businesses.

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