Press Releases

IFC Helps Expand Microlending in El Salvador

In Washington, D.C.:
Vanessa Bauza
Phone: (202) 458-1603

Washington, D.C., December 9, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $8 million in El Salvador’s Apoyo Integral to help provide financial services for micro and small entrepreneurs.  This is expected to benefit 5,000 businesses employing approximately 25,000 people, particularly in rural and semi rural areas that are significantly underserved.

Up to $1 million of IFC’s loan will be converted to common shares of Apoyo Integral, one of El Salvador’s leading microfinance institutions, to strengthen the company’s capital and support its expansion.  IFC will also provide Advisory Services supporting Apoyo Integral’s risk-management process and best practices.

“IFC’s investment marks the beginning of a strong partnership,” said Luis Castillo, President of Apoyo Integral.  “It will help us provide opportunities for El Salvador’s micro and small entrepreneurs to grow their businesses despite a challenging economic environment.  And it will give us the financial flexibility to support our own growth strategy.”  

Apoyo Integral has 25 offices in El Salvador and a $75 million portfolio, reaching 48,000 micro and small entrepreneurs.

Paolo Martelli, IFC Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “This investment aligns with our priorities for the region by deepening the financial sector and improving access to services for underserved people.  It also strengths our partnership with a strong local player, helping it grow.”

In El Salvador, IFC focuses on expanding access to financial services to the poor and underserved by strengthening financial-market infrastructure and developing and deepening capital markets. IFC supports best practices for microfinance institutions and business models that strengthen lending to small and medium enterprises.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit

About Apoyo Integral
Founded in May 2002, Apoyo Integral is one of the leading microfinance institutions in El Salvador.  Its mission is to provide accessible financial products and services that facilitate the socioeconomic inclusion of people with minimal access to the benefits of the country’s growing economy. Apoyo Integral’s services and financial products include working capital, purchasing fixed assets, buying and remodeling homes, and debt consolidation. For clients in the agricultural industry, it also offers products that support improvement and expansion plans. For more information about Apoyo Integral, visit