San Jose, Costa Rica, January 8, 2015—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing $20 million to Banco
Improsa to support lending to local small and medium entrepreneurs. At
least 30 percent of that financing is earmarked for enterprises owned or
operated by women. IFC’s long-term financing will also help diversify
funding sources for Banco Improsa, a subsidiary of Grupo Financiero Improsa
S.A., a leading financial services conglomerate in Costa Rica, with a 30
year history in the market and led by Ms. Marianela Ortuño Pinto, founder
and current president.
“In Costa Rica, financing for small and medium enterprises is limited
due to short tenors. Also, local banks do not offer products customized
to the needs of women-owned enterprises,” said Marianela Ortuño-Pinto,
President of Grupo Financiero Improsa. “IFC's longer tenor and expertise
is expected to unlock an important new market for Banco Improsa and open
an opportunity for us to be pioneers in this sector.”
Women-owned enterprises make up nearly half of all registered small and
medium enterprise in Costa Rica, yet many do not have the credit needed
to grow their businesses. An assessment by IFC, in collaboration with McKinsey
& Company, identified a US$635 million credit gap for women-owned enterprises
out of a total credit gap of US$2.8 billion for all small and medium-size
This financing is supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility
created by IFC and the Goldman Sachs Foundation to expand access to capital
for women entrepreneurs in developing economies and demonstrate the commercial
viability of investing in women.
“Our support for Banco Improsa reflects IFC’s commitment to working with
key partners that contribute to Costa Rica’s social and economic development
and support a more inclusive financial marketplace, particularly for women-owned
enterprises,” said Carlos Mayorga, Manager in IFC’s Financial Institutions
Group. “We expect to help fill the gap in financing for women entrepreneurs,
thereby supporting these key partners in the economy.”
Since Costa Rica became a member of IFC in 1956, IFC has invested $685.8
million in the country’s private sector, including $99.7 million in syndications.
We operate in sectors such as infrastructure, with a particular focus on
renewable energy, as well as in financial markets, in order to facilitate
access to finance for small and medium enterprises. Through our advisory
programs with the private sector and the government, we support energy
efficiency initiatives as well as efforts to improve Costa Rica’s investment
climate and promote new and existing businesses.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org