Monrovia – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has approved a second facility of US$20 million for the Liberian, Enterprise Development Finance Company (LEDFC). This was after careful examination of LEDFC’s performance over the years.
The facility will be used to lend to Liberian owned small and medium enterprises. An additional US$16 million will come from other sources to increase the lending pot to US$36 million, according to Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, CEO of Groupe Nduo.
Over the weekend, OPIC and the LEDFC signed a US$20 million agreement for a new facility. Purpose of the signing ceremony was to announce the new facility to encourage qualified Liberians SMEs to apply for funding.
OPIC is a self-sustained US Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances US foreign policy and National security priorities.
In brief remarks, Dr. Kwesi Nduom also stated that the money will prioritize only Liberian businesses, which meet the criteria to obtain the loan. Criteria including a good business plan, proven ability to pay back loan and beneficiaries received up to a million United States dollars .
He furthered that, OPIC is a financial institute that has over the years helped American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at homes and abroad. “OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.”
According to Dr. Kwesi Nduom, since its establishment, LEDFC has invested more than US$28 million over 500 small and medium enterprises and created more than 500 jobs in the Liberian economy. “LEDFC has financial inclusion as a priority and hence has three additional offices outside Monrovia.
“Up until the middle of June 2013, there was growing concern that the company would not survive because majority of loans were not performing. Groupe Nduom was contacted by CHF and OPIC due to its in-depth experience and knowledge in financial matters in the sub-region.”