About the EBRD Russia Small Business Fund (EBRD-RSBF)
The EBRD’s Russia Small Business Fund (RSBF) was established in 1994 with the support of the G-7 group of countries and Switzerland. The RSBF is the oldest and the largest EBRD lending facility in Russia.
Currently the RSBF is working with 15 partner banks/financial institutions. Small businesses have become an important customer group for each of them, and banking services and loans to MSMEs are now an integral part of their business strategy. Over the course of its existence, the RSBF has provided technical support to more than four dozen Russian commercial banks.
The scope and variety of the technical support provided by the RSBF to build and further strengthen solid financial institutions has changed over time. Whereas the RSBF initially aimed to establish sustainable and competitive MSE lending operations from scratch through long-term institution-building, today the RSBF provides both standardised and individualised short-term support to banks as well as a variety of training modules.
The RSBF currently focuses on capacity-building measures for the partner institutions by way of knowledge transfer to banking specialists.
So far, the RSBF has provided more than 850,000 business development loans via its Russian partner institutions, totalling more than USD 16 billion. No other programme or fund in Russia has achieved such outstanding figures in the field of MSE finance, and this is only one of the many aspects that make the RSBF unique.
The RSBF pursues the active development of the training environment in its partner institutions. Seminars and workshops devoted to the various aspects of the banks’ work with MSEs are conducted on a regular basis in the RSBF training centre. Since 2012, the Knowledge Sharing Platform has been successfully ensuring access to basic training materials on MSE lending for partner the staff of partner institutions.
Building on its enormous impact thus far, the RSBF will continue to support banks and microfinancing organizations in their endeavours to serve MSEs, helping to create more opportunities for the small business sector in Russia to grow, modernise and develop further.