OPIC and Citi to Leverage up to $200 Million in Financing to Connect Micro and Small Enterprises with Corporate and Financial Institutions
- Support will aid financial institutions and large corporations to include micro and small enterprises as business and supply chain clients
- Initiative will help Citi clients unlock economic potential and extend corporate value chains in developing markets
As financial institutions and other large corporations increasingly recognize micro and small enterprises as potential partners and clients, the OPIC/Citi financing will be used to fund transactions with micro and small corporate suppliers, self-employed individuals and smallholder farmers in rural areas in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
According to the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), microfinance institutions increasingly view small enterprises as critical components of their own business growth plans, recognizing the bottom-line value in supporting established micro clients over time. In responding to similar feedback and demand from Citi’s large corporate and financial institution clients that are looking for ways to deepen their relationships with micro and small enterprises, financing through the OPIC/Citi initiative will not only enable Citi’s clients to connect with smaller suppliers and clients, it will also expand opportunities for inclusion by connecting micro and small enterprises with the mainstream financial system.
This new collaboration builds on the success of an existing $350 million partnership between Citi and OPIC, which is providing micro lending services to borrowers in emerging markets worldwide. To date, that program has funded 38 microfinance institutions in 21 countries, which in turn have provided small loans to more than 960,000 borrowers – 91 percent of whom are women. The program was awarded the 2012 International Award for Excellence category by the U.K.-based Business in the Community.
“OPIC is excited to work with Citi to expand access to finance in the developing world to reach into the communities that need it most,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “Microfinance and small business lending is critical to local farmers and small enterprises - which often serve as critical points in a supply chain - and to the to the economic health and overall well being of their communities. The OPIC-Citi partnership has proven to be a highly effective tool for investing in emerging markets in a way that yields positive social and economic benefits.”
“Citi is pleased to once again collaborate with OPIC to broaden financial inclusion through an innovative partnership that will leverage the capabilities and business objectives of many of Citi’s clients to help unlock the economic potential of underserved communities in developing markets,” said Bob Annibale, Citi’s Global Head of Microfinance and Community Development. “Like Citi, many of our clients recognize the opportunity associated with reaching new markets, suppliers and customers, and, with OPIC’s support, we continue to develop creative solutions to link them together.”
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide.
For more information please visit www.opic.gov
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About Citi Microfinance
Working across Citi's businesses, product groups and geographies, Citi Microfinance serves more than 150 microfinance institutions (MFIs), networks and investors as clients and partners in nearly 50 countries, with products and services spanning the financial spectrum - from financing, access to capital markets, transaction services and hedging foreign exchange risk, to credit, savings, remittances and insurance products - to expand access to financial services for the underserved. http://www.citi.com/citi/microfinance/