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World Bank and Private Sector

The World Bank Group makes it easier and more attractive for private companies to do business in developing countries. 

  • We help create markets by identifying opportunities for growth, sharing this information with the global business community and working to spur private sector investment.
  • We use a range of tools to understand countries’ needs and mitigate risks for companies. 
  • We help countries improve their business climate in key ways, such as supporting labor market reforms, advising on public-private partnerships, implementing pro-competition market policies, and introducing sector-specific regulatory changes.

Providing finance for private companies

We help businesses by providing local-currency loans and a variety of other financing solutions—and by connecting them with institutional investors. We help them navigate new environments and connect with local supply chains and communities.

We also offer credit enhancement instruments, political risk insurance, and payment and loan guarantees.  These can be part of a package helping projects and transactions unlock better opportunities for private investment.

Promoting innovation and entrepreneurship

We help build the capacity of promising companies in high-growth sectors like agribusiness, information and communication technology, and clean technology. We help them access seed capital and business know-how.

IFC’s Venture Capital group invests in growth-stage companies that offer innovative technologies or business models geared at emerging markets; areas include health care, edu-tech, and e-commerce.

Aligning with business and philanthropy

We engage the global business community and philanthropies on solutions and funding for key development priorities. These include investments in human capital, jobs and economic opportunities for refugees and host communities, tackling climate change, and broadening access to finance—particularly for women entrepreneurs.

We offer knowledge, data, and advice to help companies and governments enhance their sustainability practices.

We form alliances with CEOs and business groups on initiatives of mutual interest that address global challenges, such as carbon pricing and investments in climate-smart technologies. We convene partners through many platforms, including the Advisory Council, Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, Invest4Climate, and the Sustainable Banking Network.


As part of our unique value proposition, the World Bank Group offers numerous insurance and guarantee mechanisms to help mitigate the risks for private investors and make projects bankable.

IBRD and IDA offers guarantees to help attract all forms of commercial financing to development projects by protecting financiers against defaults by a government, its political and administrative subdivisions and all other public-sector entities.  They are backed by sovereign counter-guarantees and ensure continued commitment of the countries to the project.  IBRD and IDA guarantees can be structured to mitigate any breach of contract that arises from government inability to meet its performance and/or payment obligations.

MIGA guarantees cover equity, debt, and other forms of financing, mainly to promote cross-border investments. These products, which do not require a counter-guarantee by the host government, cover risks posed by:

  • Currency inconvertibility and transfer restriction;
  • Expropriation;
  • War, terrorism, and civil disturbance;
  • Breach of contract; and
  • Non-honoring of financial obligations by governments or state-owned enterprises.

IFC guarantee tools mostly cover debt products issued by its private sector clients.  They include partial and full credit guarantees, as well as risk-sharing facilities. 


The World Bank Group finances over 1,700 investment projects in some 130 countries, in a wide range of industries and sectors. About 80 percent of total financing each year is in the transport, water & sanitation, and energy & extractives sectors. Our institutions’ active project portfolio is worth about $80 billion, with annual procurement in project operations in the range of $20 billion. 

The World Bank's Procurement Framework maximizes the strategic role of procurement in achieving key development effectiveness goals - emphasizing choice, quality, and value for public spending, while enabling adaptation to country contexts.

A new Procurement Framework was approved by the World Bank Board on July 21, 2015 and its use is mandatory for all lending operations after July 1, 2016.

Please visit the links below to access either the old Policy, Procedures and Guidelines or the current Policy and Regulations.

Learn more about procurement

Projects & Operations