Quito, Ecuador, July 14, 2016 —
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, strengthened its support to Ecuador’s
women-owned small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with a new US$55
million loan to Banco Pichincha, a bank that strives to sharply boost its
lending to women entrepreneurs.
The loan consists of US$20 million from IFC
and US$15 million from the Women Entrepreneurs Debt Fund, a private investment
fund managed by IFC Asset Management Company. The Fund is part of Goldman
Sachs 10,000 Women and International Finance Corporation’s (IFC)
Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, a
partnership to increase access to capital
for women entrepreneurs.
Launched in 2014, this first-of-its-kind
Facility aims to help close an estimated $285 billion global credit gap
for women-owned small and medium enterprises (WSMEs) and enable 100,000
women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. An additional US$20 million
was invested by Finance in Motion, a German investment company.
Banco Pichincha seeks to use the new financing
to increase by about 50 percent its loans to SMEs in Ecuador at a time
when the country is recovering from a devastating earthquake in April.
Boosting financial access for SMEs is crucial to the country’s sustainable
growth as they are a key driver of economic activity and job creation.
The bank expects to expand its reach in the next three years by about
2,500 women-owned SMEs with the new resources.
“At Banco Pichincha we have seen first-hand
that investing in women-owned SMEs leads to economic growth and job creation
in Ecuador,” said María Belén Sánchez, Product Manager from Banco Pichincha.
“There is a lot more that can be done to ensure that women entrepreneurs
can access capital. By partnering with IFC we are addressing the obstacle
they face in gaining access to capital,” she said.
According to studies from IFC and McKinsey
Enterprise Finance Gap Database, nearly 37 percent of formal SMEs are women
owners, of which 71 percent are unserved or underserved. The credit gap
for formal women-owned SMEs in Ecuador is estimated at US$3 billion per
“IFC is continuing to expand its support
for Ecuador after the earthquake,” said Carlos Leiria Pinto, head of IFC
for the Andean region. “We are confident that our partnership with Banco
Pichincha represents will help boost economic growth in Ecuador and is
evidence of our commitment to provide opportunities for women entrepreneurs
who face the challenge of obtaining financing for their businesses,” he
“Access to capital is a major obstacle to
growth for women entrepreneurs,” said Noa Meyer, Managing Director and
Global Head of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women. “Goldman Sachs research
shows that closing this gender credit gap could increase per capita income
by around 12 percent in emerging markets by 2030. This new loan to Banco
Pichincha will place more capital in the hands of women entrepreneurs in
Ecuador who will drive future economic growth and job creation.”
The project will also help Banco Pichincha
nearly double the climate smart activities in a three-year period as it
undertakes new climate smart projects including energy efficiency, renewable
energy, water efficiency, and cleaner production projects. Banco Pichincha
is already a pioneer in Ecuador for financing climate smart activities,
as it has experience backing projects for energy efficiency, renewable
energy and green buildings.
The loan is part of a wider engagement by
IFC with Grupo Pichincha, which also has operations in Colombia, Peru,
the United States and Spain. The group is focused on increasing access
to finance to low income households and SMEs, making it a strategic partner
for IFC in the Andean Region.
IFC’s strategy in Ecuador is centered on
helping organizations that promote financial inclusion. IFC’s support
to Ecuador began when it became a member of the institution in 1956, and
since that time, it has invested some $685 million in the country.
IFC’s Banking on Women program is playing
a catalytic role in helping financial institutions meet the needs of women
entrepreneurs in a sustainable and profitable way. Since its launch in
2010, the program has made 37 investments globally totalling over $1 billion
and has launched 28 advisory projects.
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and IFC
provided anchor investments to create the Facility and are working with
local banks in emerging markets to catalyze existing capital for women-owned
SMEs by addressing barriers to financial access. Since the Facility was
launched in 2014, it has made over $550 million in commitments to banks
in 16 countries, increasing lending to women entrepreneurs
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries
rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential
role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About IFC Asset Management Company
IFC Asset Management Company LLC (AMC), a
wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, invests third party capital, enabling investors
to benefit from IFC’s expertise in achieving strong equity returns, as
well as positive development impact in the countries in which it invests.
AMC has raised $8.7 billion of capital across 11 investment funds. For
more information, visit www.ifcamc.org.
About Banco Pichincha
Banco Pichincha is the largest private financial
institution in Ecuador. Founded in 1906, the bank has a 30 percent market
share, with approximately 2.5 million clients, a portfolio of over $5 billion
and deposits of $7.6 billion. All of its activities are built around a
commitment to society, shareholders, the environment and gender equity.
The bank provides a range of products and services to meet the needs of
the different client segments it serves, including microfinance, personal,
small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and corporate banking. Banco Pichincha
has been able to successfully close the gap among populations that lack
access to the formal financial sector through many of its business units,
including its microfinance unit its community banking program and its non-bank
correspondent channel Pichincha “Mi Vecino”.