Leasing: a potential solution for SME expansion and rural financial sector deepening – a study of Russia
This paper explores how the development of leasing markets can effectively expand access to medium and long-term financing for rural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agribusinesses. Drawing upon recent field work in Russia, this paper investigates the experiences of leasing companies that received technical assistance and/or investment from International Finance Corporation (IFC). How have legal, regulatory, and policy issues been addressed to create a more equal playing field for leasing industry development? How does access to finance inhibit the growth and expansion of rural and agricultural SMEs in Russia? What are the main challenges facing leasing companies serving SMEs and how are they overcome? Are leasing industry development interventions in Russia replicable in other developing countries?