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Multimillion-dollar boost for SME sector

Story from: CAJ News Africa

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By GIFT NDOLWANE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – FIRST Rand and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have concluded a loan agreement of $200 million (R2,6 billion) aimed at magnifying lending and support for the small and medium enterprises sector in South Africa.
This highlights the commitment by First National Bank (FNB), an entity of FirstRand, to playing a bigger role in tackling South Africa’s unemployment crisis.
“SMEs are one of the most powerful contributors to sustainable economic growth. In South Africa, the sector contributes about 4 percent to the country’s gross domestic product,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, Chief Executive Officer of FNB Business.
He said FNB was well positioned to offer the right support to the SME sector regardless of the current economic slowdown.
Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for East and Southern Africa, said IFC was committed to promoting the growth of SMEs to spur job creation at a time of economic uncertainty in South Africa, and globally.
“IFC welcomes this opportunity to help FNB expand its efforts to work with SMEs, and build on a long-term strategic partnership that can increase access to finance IFC’s SME Push Program,” said Seydi.
In an effort to promote growth of the SME sector, the IFC has developed the SME Push Program to channel $2-3 billion of a wide range of investment into South Africa’s SMEs over the next five- seven years.

CAJ News

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