Our Work

Liberia Investing for Business Expansion

Activities And Approaches

The program has a two-pronged approach to stimulating access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), working with both lenders and borrowers to build successful and profitable loan relationships that grow the economy and create jobs.

  • IESC trains banks and financial institutions on best practices and strategies to reduce risk and costs associated with lending in these sectors. We partner with banks that participate in USAID’s Development Credit Authority loan guarantee program to maximize the benefit of this initiative that puts more capital in the hands of global entrepreneurs.
  • IESC trains and mentors prospective borrowers on business and financial planning, records management, the loan application process, and other skills that will make them loan-ready.

Investing for Business Expansion continued operations, with some small modifications to ensure safety, during the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak. IESC worked with lenders and borrowers to restructure existing loans to businesses that were adversely affected by the health crisis.

Summary

Liberia is still recovering from civil war. It decimated the economy, and banks became very risk averse. Combined with the fact that that overall financial literacy is low and business owners don’t always have the documentation necessary to apply for a loan, small business lending was almost nonexistent. Liberia Investing for Business Expansion supports economic growth in Liberia by improving the small business lending environment across seven sectors: agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure, construction, general merchandise, transportation, and hospitality.

Results

  • $8.5 million in loans approved
  • 1,200 businesses trained on the loan process, business planning, or becoming loan-ready
  • 68% use of the Development Credit Authority guarantee, up from just over 2% when the program started

Funder: USAID
Administrator: Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance
Project Duration: 2012-2016
Award: $3.4 million

Impact

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