Small Enterprise Lending Programme I

SELP (Small Enterprise Lending Programme) provided Georgian banks with technical assistance to enable efficient lending to micro and small enterprises in Georgia on a commercially sustainable basis.

Nearly two years into the project, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development appointed Michael Kortenbusch, BFC’s managing director, as the new coordinator of SELP. The main goal of this assignment was to improve the productivity of lending staff and increase the outreach and market share of partner banks.

BFC made SELP a success by:

  • Nearly doubling loan officers’ productivity within six months;
  • Introducing innovative new loan products;
  • Implementing a new incentive system;
  • Launching a new loan product;
  • Including new partner banks’ outlets into the programme.

The introduction of an innovative loan product with low collateral requirements was so successful with microfinance clients that it provoked a competitive reaction from established market players. This led to an across-the-board lowering of average micro-lending interest rates in Georgia.

In just six months, BFC executed a remarkable turnaround of SELP. The microloan portfolio of the two partner banks grew at an annual rate of 150%.

SELP at a Glance (February 2003—August 2003)
Indicator Feb. 2003 Aug. 2003
Portfolio size (USD) 1.55 mln 2.71 mln
Outstanding loans 508 1,166
Portfolio at risk (%) 1.1 1.1
Loan officer productivity* 3.4 6.6
Outlets 3 5
Partner Banks 2
Note: *—Average number of loans disbursed per loan officer per month.