Equity BCDC, a subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is set to receive a $50 million (KSh5.4 billion) loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to finance cash-starved small and medium-sized enterprises in the country.
Access to capital is one of the greatest challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Equity BCDC, which has 74 branches spread across the DRC will use the IFC loan to help small businesses fund their operations and expansion in the aftermath of the pandemic.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank, aims to boost economic activity and build resilience in the low-income nation after the devastation caused by the covid19 pandemic. The institution plans to issue a 3-year loan in local currency to be directed to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women-owned businesses, climate-related projects and housing finance. In addition, IFC will share its expertise and knowledge in the SME finance sector with Equity BCDC to help it grow its portfolio of Small and Medium Enterprises.
Equity BCDC emerged from the merger between Equity Bank Congo and Banque Commerciale Du Congo which was finalized in December 2020. It is the second-largest bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a balance sheet worth $2.9 billion. Equity BCDC is 75.5% owned by the Equity Group and 15% owned by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.