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IFC Boosts Financial Access for Women-owned SMEs in Ecuador with Loan to Banco Internacional

In Bogota:
Darcy Antonin Crowe
Phone: (57) 1 313 6449

Quito, Ecuador, March 21, 2019 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, strengthened its support of Ecuador’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with a new $50 million loan to Banco Internacional, of which $12.5 million would be earmarked to expand financing to women-owned SMEs.

The loan consists of $38.5 million from IFC and $11.5 million from the Women Entrepreneurs Debt Fund, which is managed by IFC’s Asset Management Company. The investment is part of the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF), a first-of-its-kind partnership launched in 2014 between Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and IFC’s Banking on Women program. The facility is dedicated to expanding access to capital for women entrepreneurs.

“At Banco Internacional, we aim to contribute to the economic development of Ecuador bringing in our experience, strength and quality in providing financial services to the Ecuadorian private business sector. The leadership of our institution in commercial credit has been recognized by the IFC by granting us this loan, which gives us the ability to expand our presence in the small and medium enterprises, especially those led by women," said Francisco Naranjo, executive president for Banco Internacional.

Goldman Sachs research shows that closing the gender credit gap could increase per capita income in emerging markets by 12 percent by 2030. IFC’s Banking on Women program has committed 71 investments globally worth $1.89 billion and advised on 48 projects since 2010, each dedicated to closing this gap. Of these, WEOF has extended $1.18 billion in investments to 42 financial intermediaries in 29 countries. It has also funded 13 advisory projects in 12 countries. To date, the facility has reached over 50,000 women entrepreneurs. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women is committed to enabling women entrepreneurs in emerging markets to grow their business through hands on business education and access to capital.

The Ecuadorian SME financing gap is estimated at US$15.6 billion, or 15 percent of gross domestic product. Despite the significant role SMEs play in the Ecuadorian economy, loans to these companies account for only 3.6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. More than 30 percent of SMEs report facing constraints as result of lack of access to finance and women-owned SMEs face similar obstacles.

“IFC is continuing to expand its support for SMEs and women entrepreneurs in Ecuador,” said Juan Gonzalo Flores, IFC’s acting head for the Andean region. “Our partnership with Banco Internacional is a great example of our commitment to provide opportunities for women entrepreneurs who face the challenge of obtaining financing for their businesses,” he said.

IFC’s strategy in Ecuador is centered on promoting financial inclusion and climate finance.  IFC also focuses on providing financing and technical assistance to businesses that have a strong positive impact on the export sector.  IFC looks for projects that tackle climate change, create jobs and benefit underserved populations. IFC’s support to Ecuador began when the country became a member of the institution in 1956, and since that time, it has invested some $800 million in Ecuador.

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

About Banco Internacional
Banco Internacional was founded in Quito in 1973, has more than 1300 employees committed to the satisfaction of its customers nationwide. Banco Internacional is the leading bank in efficiency, it stands out for its focus on small, medium and large companies, as well as people of high and medium income. The institution has 75 branches nationwide in 18 provinces, in the Sierra, Costa and Amazon regions, and more than 397 ATMs.

About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women is an initiative to foster economic growth by providing women entrepreneurs around the world with a business and management education and access to capital. The initiative has reached women from 56 countries through a network of 100 academic, nonprofit, and bank partners. In partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women launched the first of its kind global finance facility in 2014 to enable access to capital to more women entrepreneurs. And now, in its tenth year, the 10,000 Women curriculum is available online through Coursera, creating access to a business education in more corners of the world. For more information on Goldman Sachs’ investment in female entrepreneurs, visit

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