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IFC Supports Expansion of Microfinance Institution in Colombia


In Washington, D.C.
Adriana Gomez

Phone: +(202) 458 5204

E-mail:
Agomez@ifc.org

Lotte Pang

Phone: +1 202 758 4290

E-mail:
Lpang@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., November 18, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide up to 4,000 million Colombian pesos (US$2.1 million equivalent) to Colombia’s Corporacion Mundial de la Mujer de Medellin (WWB Medellin). IFC’s financing will support the expansion of this microfinance institution and will help increase access to financial services for microenterpreneurs in Colombia.  Currently, WWB Medellin reaches more than 80,000 clients.

In Colombia, microfinance is a priority sector for IFC. Microenterprises account for 51 percent of employment and constitute 95 percent of total firms. IFC’s new financing in WWB Medellin follows an IFC’s loan of up to $2.1 million committed earlier this year.

Margarita Correa, General Manager of WWB Medellin, said, “IFC’s renewed support will allow us to extend services to 2,000 new clients and address gaps in formal financing for local microenterprises, many of which are managed by women. We appreciate IFC’s support and long-term partnership.”

Roberto Albisetti, IFC Country Manager for Colombia, said, “This new financing shows IFC’s continuing support to improve access to finance to the lower income segments of the population in Colombia . Our long-term partnership with WWB Medellin aims to expand services that will support individual entrepreneurship initiatives in the country and more equitable growth.”


In Latin America and the Caribbean, IFC has supported the creation or development of 24 microfinance institutions, with a cumulative investment of $213 million.

IFC’s strategy in Colombia aims to support sectors that are essential to the country’s development. This includes financing infrastructure projects such as ports, roads, and airports that involve public-private partnerships and help improve the country’s competitiveness. IFC helps leading Colombian groups modernize and expand their businesses internationally. Improving access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises is also at the core of IFC’s strategy in the country, as well as helping improve the investment climate by simplifying regulations. As of June 2008, 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 private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About WWB Medellin

WWB Medellin is a specialized microfinance institution headquartered in Medellin, Colombia, with more than 22 years of experience. It has more than 70,000 clients and a $93.9 million loan portfolio, making it one of the largest providers of microfinance in the country.