Our Work

Access to Finance and Investment

We provide solutions to improve financial systems and unlock capital to spur private sector growth. We work with both parties in the lending relationship—the potential borrowers and the financial institutions—to bridge financing gaps. Through training, technical assistance, and the application of technology, we increase the number of qualified borrowers, strengthen lending institutions and the products and services offered, maximize the use of loan guarantees, minimize non-performing loans, and expand inclusive finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across sectors, particularly for smallholders, women, youth, and other marginalized groups. We also strategically facilitate enterprise investment from development finance institutions and international impact investors.

Program Examples

Dominican Republic

Trade Safe (TraSa)

Funder: USDA Food for Progress

Program Overview: TraSa is expanding trade in agricultural products by strengthening public and private institutions and coordination mechanisms that intervene in local sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) policy to facilitate the adoption of science-based and technically sound SPS regulations and measures; and by providing technical capacity to public and private sector institutions involved in SPS to streamline collaboration and implement transparent, risk-based SPS regulations and practices. The project is also leveraging private sector investment to further develop cold chain systems that meet international standards for food safety.

Relation to IESC Expertise: On TraSa, we facilitated a $6 million dollar private investment in a temperature-controlled storage facility that will help address food safety logistics required for successful trade in perishable goods to, through, and from the Dominican Republic. By producing a third-party, objective investor’s market opportunity study, we generated critical data and a market analysis that helped to build investor confidence and public sector awareness. The study was shared widely, and additional investors stepped forward with a second multimillion dollar private investment that will build off this first successful effort.

Kenya, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka

Farmer-to-Farmer Access to Finance Program (F2F A2F)

Funder: USAID

Program Overview: F2F, a volunteer-driven program, expands agricultural sector access to financial services and increases agricultural sector productivity and profitability, thereby raising incomes and creating jobs. The core countries for the F2F Access to Finance Program are Kenya, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka.

Relation to IESC Expertise: Under the F2F A2F Program, IESC has successfully facilitated agricultural loans valued at $69.3 million for nearly 106,000 rural borrowers. We have supported potential borrowers to improve their bankability, advised on loan applications, and provided post-loan support. IESC has built financial institutions’ capacity to assess agricultural risks and returns and to align credit product terms with expected cash flows. In total, IESC has supported financial institutions to design and introduce 150 new financial products and services targeting smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on women and youth.


Linkages for Small and Medium Enterprises (LinkSME)

Funder: USAID

Program Overview: LinkSME built the capacity of Vietnamese business support organizations to advance linkages between Vietnamese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and lead firms, thereby enhancing the capacity of SMEs to participate in global supply chains. Improved and increased business linkages help Vietnamese firms generate jobs, improve livelihoods, and encourage entrepreneurial innovation. Additionally, the program reduced major barriers limiting SME growth across Vietnam and helped to institutionalize key reforms.

Relation to IESC Expertise: On the LinkSME program, IESC partnered with Vietnamese banks to increase access to finance for supporting industries, agricultural production, and alternative energy. We worked with financial institutions to identify and promote loan products for SMEs that lack traditional capital. Product options included leasing, cash-flow financing, blended financing, and financing backed by Government of Vietnam agencies. Simultaneously, we worked directly with SMEs to help them become more attractive clients to commercial banks and obtain new financing, restructure debt by supporting them to clarify current debts, and develop proper credit applications.

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