IMON operates in three regions of Tajikistan with 33 lending outlets covering 36 districts. Many of these are rural areas where commercial banks do not operate. IMON offers loans for trade, services and small manufacturing. Recently, it has added agricultural loans to its range of products. The average loan size is US$750, but IMON is also offering micro leasing finance up to US$20,000.
Founded in 2005, IMON now aims to transform itself into a commercial entity in the near future. This will allow the institution to start taking deposits and attract equity funding. IMON’s activities have expanded rapidly and with a loan book worth almost US$15 million it has become the market leader in micro finance in Tajikistan.
The EBRD has supported this successful development with two previous loans. This latest loan is being provided under the Early Transition Countries (ETC) Non-Bank Micro Finance Institutions Framework II. The ETC initiative aims to stimulate market activity in the participating countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by using a streamlined approach to financing projects. This helps increase the number of small investments and also encourages economic reform.
Matthieu Le Blan, head of the EBRD office in Dushanbe, said the EBRD’s support shows the Bank’s commitment to helping the growth of micro and small businesses in Tajikistan. "This sector is at the heart of our strategy for Tajikistan. We see huge potential here and we are helping to unlock it", he added.
Sanavbar Sharipova, CEO of IMON, said: "Today the EBRD is one of our most important strategic partners, contributing to the development of our company with finance and technical assistance. This has enabled us to become a strong and healthy institution which is capable to support the growth of the private sector which is a key sector of the Tajik economy."
Through its micro and small enterprises programmes, the EBRD has supported over one million small enterprises throughout eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. The EBRD currently works with over 102 commercial banks and non-bank microfinance institutions to establish or expand specialised micro and small business finance units and to date has lent over 1.4 billion to facilitate over 13.5 billion in loans to micro and small businesses in the region.