Press Releases

IFC Invests in Mexican Distribution Company to Support Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises

In London:
Name: Carmen Powell
Phone: +44 207 286 5439

In Washington D.C.:
Adriana Gomez
Phone:  (202) 458 5204

Mexico City, Mexico, January 28, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a long-term agreement with Sistema Integral de Abasto Rural, SA CV (Mi Tienda) to help the Mexican distribution company, known as Mi Tienda, expand its operations.  

IFC’s $2.5 million investment will help create more than 900 direct jobs and sustain the livelihoods of more than 25,000 rural retail store owners, most of whom are women.

The proposed project consists of the expansion of Mi Tienda through the development of 36 distribution centers. The centers will target rural retail stores located in 14,740 villages with average populations of less than 5,000 inhabitants, reaching a total of 4.7 million Mexican households.  IFC will provide long- term equity financing to support the company’s expansion and affiliation program.

The project is expected to have a high development impact on micro, small, and medium enterprises  in the rural parts of Mexico.  It will contribute to the development of rural retail stores by expanding the assortment of products and providing new store layouts.  

“This innovative retail project has an immense potential for a high development impact by reaching out to the rural population and enhancing access to finance for women MSME entrepreneurs,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for Global Manufacturing and Services.  

The affiliation program will foster private sector development by providing training in inventory management, accounting, and working capital management.  It also will reduce working capital needs and provide access to credit by offering payment facilities to the stores.  While catering to the basic  needs of the population such as food and consumer goods, Mi Tienda’s distribution system also will also provide a platform for services such as insurance, payment of utility bills, branchless banking, and micro-credit.

Jose Ignacio Avalos, Mi Tienda’s founder , said, “We value highly  IFC being part of the Mi Tienda project.  IFC’s investment will help us generate a systemic change in Mexican retailing, resulting in improved services and accesibility to a wider range of products at affordable prices for rural communities: the underserved  populations.”

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by helping distribution companies expand.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled US$14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit

About Mi Tienda
Mi Tienda is a privately-held company engaged in the rural distribution of food and other basic products in Mexico. The company was founded in 1999 and started its operations as a distribution center in Atlacomulco in central Mexico. It offers mainly non-perishable food and personal care distribution to approximately 600 stores located in rural zones. Mi Tienda also offers affiliation programs to its customers, hence contributing to increased efficiency and productivity.  For more information, visit