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.”
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
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