A woman in Mali sifts newly harvested grain.
Photo: Bill Horn, courtesy of Photoshare.
IESC – the International Executive Service Corps – will implement a new five-year program to increase the use of USAID’s Development Credit Authority in Mali.
The Development Credit Authority encourages lending by sharing risk with the bank (up to 50 percent of the loan) and helps to put money in the hands of entrepreneurs around the world.
Eighty percent of Mali’s population is involved in agricultural activities, and the agriculture sector has great potential to drive economic growth. Yet Mali’s farmers and entrepreneurs, especially women, struggle to get loans because banks and financial institutions are hesitant to lend.
The new program, funded jointly by USAID/Mali and Swedish Sida, will connect entrepreneurs in Mali to credit that is guaranteed by the Development Credit Authority, targeting agribusinesses all along the value chain and particularly women-owned businesses.
The program will provide training and technical assistance to both lenders—including Development Credit Authority partner banks and microfinance institutions—and prospective borrowers.
The program is awarded through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance, of which IESC is a member. IESC will draw from its pool of highly skilled volunteers over the life of the program. Another alliance member, NCBA CLUSA, and local Malian firm DC Consulting will also contribute to the program.