Santo Domingo, December 15, 2015
- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Asociación Popular
de Ahorros y Préstamos (APAP) establish new banking services to better
serve the financing needs of small and medium enterprises in the Dominican
The Dominican Republic is home to over
18,000 small and medium enterprises. These businesses provide over half
a million jobs, representing 13 percent of the employed population in the
country. Yet small and medium entrepreneurs say that lack of access to
finance is the most significant barrier facing their businesses. Approximately
38 percent either have limited or no access to loans, which restricts their
ability to grow and create jobs.
IFC will implement an advisory project
to help APAP design, develop and roll out its SME strategy. Through this
project, IFC will support APAP in conducting market research to define
its target segment among small and medium enterprises, understand their
specific needs and design a business model to best serve these enterprises.
This includes strengthening the institution’s risk management practices
and diversifying its product mix to meet the demands of small and medium
“APAP is working with IFC to better
serve the banking needs of the country’s small and medium entrepreneurs,”
said Gustavo Ariza, Executive Vice President of APAP. “They are a critical
driver of jobs; we hope that this joint effort will help small and medium
entrepreneurs grow their businesses and prosper.”
Small and medium entrepreneurs are vital
for the economic and social development of emerging markets. They generate
jobs and provide essential goods and services. Yet many do not have the
credit needed to grow their businesses and increase their productivity.
Access to financial services, which is often critically constrained in
emerging markets, is necessary in developing local economies. Over the
past decade, IFC has played a critical role in helping small and medium
enterprises worldwide gain greater access to financing. With IFC’s support,
our clients in Latin America and the Caribbean provided 794,000 loans to
small and medium enterprises in 2014 for a total value of $51 billion.
“We have a strong commitment to expanding
access to finance to individuals and small businesses by working through
our network of financial institution partners like APAP,” said Guillermo
Villanueva, Resident Representative for IFC in the Dominican Republic.
“Our goal is to strengthen and build the capacity of financial institutions
to provide broad-based services to small and medium enterprises. We are
pleased to be working with APAP to help Dominican entrepreneurs grow and
IFC’s support for APAP is consistent
with IFC’s strategy in the Dominican Republic, which focuses on supporting
economic growth and ensuring opportunities for poorer segments of society.
At the end of June 2015, IFC had a committed investment portfolio in the
Dominican Republic totaling $198 million, including $22 million from partnering
institutions. IFC’s clients in the Dominican Republic last year
supported more than 14,000 jobs.
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 Asociación Popular de Ahorros
Asociación Popular de Ahorros y Préstamos
was founded in 1962 and is the third largest savings and loans association
in the Dominican Republic. Initially focused on promoting savings and providing
mortgage loans, it has broadened its products range in retail and commercial
banking. It is headquartered in Santo Domingo, with 50 branches distributed
in the north, east and west parts of the country. For more information,