Press Releases

IFC Invests $10 million in Bancamia to Expand Microcredit in Colombia

In Washington, D.C.:
Adriana Gomez

Phone: (202)4585204

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 syndicated loans.

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 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
About Bancamia

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 in Colombia.