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Indigenous Enterprises Gain Access To International Markets Through IFC LAC SME Facility Partnership With Eziba


IFC in Washington:
Paul Melton

IFC LAC SME Facility

Phone: + 1 (202) 473-7349

Email:
pmelton@ifc.org


Adriana Gomez

Phone:  +1 (202) 458-5204

Fax:      +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
Agomez@ifc.org


Washington, DC, July 14, 2004— The International Finance Corporation’s Latin American Small and Medium Enterprise Facility has partnered with Eziba, an American retailer of high-quality hand-crafted products, to provide indigenous enterprises in Peru and Bolivia with access to international markets.

As part of the partnership, the Facility organized a buying mission earlier this spring to introduce Eziba to several indigenous enterprises in municipalities in Peru and Bolivia.  Eziba selected products from various enterprises for its upcoming catalogs (six, in particular, will be featured in the holiday catalog) and has recently completed its first round of orders, totaling over $20,000.


For many of the enterprises, the project has already had significant results, both in terms of revenues and market access.  "Thanks to the Eziba/IFC partnership we got international market access,” commented Yolanda Pabón from Warmi Ajayu.  “Prior to the partnership our market access and sales were severely limited."


This partnership between the IFC LAC SME Facility and Eziba is a pilot initiative in the LAC SME Facility’s program.  This is the first time IFC will directly support indigenous enterprises, which have historically been excluded from market opportunities.  To maximize the program’s impact, the Facility has targeted indigenous enterprises, such as Señor de Mayo in El Alto, which represent multiple producers.


The pilot program with Eziba will link approximately 10 indigenous enterprises in Bolivia and Peru with  Eziba.  The program is estimated to generate $50,000 in revenues to the enterprises by December 2004 and $100,000 in the following year.


Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director of Latin America and the Caribbean noted, “The Eziba partnership provides a strong example of the Facility's mission to make markets work for everyone.  By expanding market access and increasing revenues for indigenous enterprises, the partnership helps improve living conditions for the communities supporting these enterprises.”


ABOUT IFC

The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

ABOUT IFC LAC SME FACILITY

IFC's Latin America and Caribbean Small and Medium Enterprise Facility, headquartered in Lima, Peru, promotes private sector development by supporting small and medium enterprises, thus contributing to job creation and poverty reduction in the region.  It is a multidonor initiative backed by a $10 million commitment from IFC and an expected $20 million in donor contributions. Its areas of focus are strengthening SME competitiveness; making it easier for SMEs to do business by simplifying business regulations; broadening access to finance; and fostering indigenous and socially responsible enterprises.


ABOUT EZIBA

Eziba is a venture backed, private for profit multi-channel retailer of high quality hand-crafted products, globally sourced from more than 70 countries. Eziba sells its products on its website, and on those of its 8000 affiliates, through its offline catalog, with a circulation of 5 million.  Most recently, Eziba sells through shops within larger brick and mortar retailers, such as Marshal Fields, and in stand alone stores. Today, the company generates annual revenues of over $10 million, has rapidly grown its annual customer base to over $150,000 and succeeded in building a compelling brand associated with high quality products that represent outstanding value.