Sustainable lending to rural and agricultural microenterprises
Şekerbank was the first Turkish bank to offer loans to individual entrepreneurs and they have been a valuable partner at the forefront of innovative and inclusive banking in the country. Building on a series of successful partnerships between the bank and IPC starting in 2005, and based on our shared commitment to improving financial access for the un(der)served, Şekerbank contracted IPC to enhance their support for rural and agricultural microenterprises, particularly women-led businesses.
A key part of our support was to establish a core team of mobile field credit analysts specialised in using IPC’s analysis-based lending technology to assess MSEs and farmers who required very small loan amounts and had no or only limited business documentation. Women entrepreneurs or women supplementing household income through entrepreneurial activities were of particular interest in this context.
Our experts reviewed existing credit manuals for micro loans to rural and agricultural enterprises and supported the bank in drafting new or adapting existing procedures for loan processing, taking the specifics of the target segment (lack of documentation, etc.) into account.
We also supported the bank in selecting staff and conducting targeted training as necessary. Subsequently, we supported the launch of new lending operations in pilot regions and provided on-the-job training to analysts and team leaders. After the pilot phase, we assisted the bank in assessing and selecting additional staff, adjusting training material to enhance the focus on women entrepreneurs and families, and providing additional classroom training for staff and coaching for mobile field team leaders. Moreover, we developed and implemented additional training modules on microfinance theory, microfinance as an industry, experience in commercial micro-lending and the informal economy. Successful assignment implementation allowed for deeper outreach, fine-tuning the bank’s existing microfinance activities and successfully addressing un(der)served client segments, especially women.