Washington, D.C., June 2, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, will invest up to $10 million in preferred
shares of Bancamia, supporting the expansion of this microfinance institution
and helping to increase access to financial services for microenterpreneurs
in Colombia. Currently, Bancamia reaches more than 300,000 clients
in 369 municipalities in Colombia, covering six rural regions.
“IFC’s renewed support will allow us to extend services to more than
60,000 new clients and address gaps in formal financing for local microenterprises,
many of which are run by women,” said Maria Mercedes Gomez, President
of Bancamia. “We appreciate IFC’s support and long-term partnership.”
Microfinance is a priority for IFC in Colombia. Microenterprises account
for 51 percent of all jobs and constitute 95 percent of total businesses.
IFC’s new investment in Bancamia follows two previous loans of $4.1 million
disbursed to Corporacion Mundial de la Mujer de Medellin.
Bancamia, a financial institution focused on microfinance, was created
by Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA through the transformation into a bank
of the two NGOs Corporaciones Mundial de la Mujer of Medellin and of Colombia.
IFC supported the transformation by providing advisory services on risk
management, new products development and training.
Vincent Gouarne, IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, added,
“This new financing is part of IFC’s objective to strengthen the microfinance
sector in Colombia. Our partnership with Bancamia and its sponsors aims
to support individual entrepreneurship and more equitable growth.”
Manuel Mendez, Chairman of Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA said, “We appreciate
IFC’s support and long-term partnership. IFC’s investment will support
Bancamia’s growth and will facilitate access to finance for microentepreneurs.”
IFC has supported the creation or development of 123 microfinance institutions
worldwide, with a cumulative investment of $1.2 billion over the past years.
IFC’s strategy in Colombia helps strengthen sectors that are essential
to the country’s development. This includes financing infrastructure projects
such as ports, roads, and airports that are structured as public-private
partnership and support the country’s competitiveness. IFC helps leading
Colombian companies modernize and expand their businesses internationally.
Supporting access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises and
helping to improve Colombia’s investment climate by simplifying regulations
are also at the core of IFC’s strategy in the country. As of April 2010,
IFC’s total committed portfolio in the country was over $1 billion, including
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 capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk
mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Bancamia started its micro credit operations in Colombia in October 2008
with $60 million in equity and a loan portfolio of $146 million. It serves
more than 300,000 clients (US$230 million in loans as of December 31, 2009)
in 369 municipalities of Colombia. Bancamia’s main shareholders are Fundación
Microfinanzas BBVA (51%), Corporación Mundial de la Mujer de Medellín (24.5%)
and Corporación Mundial de la Mujer - Colombia (24.5%).
About Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA
Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA was created in February 2007 to promote the
financial inclusiveness of less privileged people and improve standards
of living. The Foundation is building a global network of microfinance
institutions, initially focusing on Latin America.
Corporación Mundial de la Mujer de Medellín and Corporación Mundial de
la Mujer -Colombia were created between 1985 and 1989 as affiliates
of the Women’s World Bank. In 2006 the corporations joined efforts
in seeking a strategic partner that would enable them to transform into
a financial institution and provide clients with a complete banking portfolio,
include credit and saving accounts, among other services. In 2007, the
institutions signed an agreement with BBVA Foundation to create Bancamia