IFC was established in 1956 as an affiliate of the World Bank. The purpose of IFC is to further economic development by encouraging the growth of productive private enterprise in member countries particularly in less developed areas thus supplementing the activities of the World Bank. In carrying out this purpose, the corporation shall:

(a) In association with private investors, assist in financing the establishment, improvement and expansion of productive private enterprises which would contribute the development of its member countries by making investments, without guarantee of repayment by the member government.

(b) Seek to bring together investment opportunities, domestic and foreign private capital and experienced management and

(c) Seek to stimulate, and to help create conditions conducive to the flow of private capital, domestic and foreign into productive investment in member countries.

IFC also engages in a number of activities designed to promote the growth of private investments.

These include:

i. Project identification and promotion

ii. Helping to establish finance and improve privately owned development finance companies and other institutions which are themselves engaged in promoting and financing private enterprises.

iii. Encouraging the growth of capital markets in the developing countries.

iv. Giving advice to less developed member countries on measures that will create a climate conducive to the growth of private investment.