Managua, Nicaragua, April 3, 2013 —
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in partnership with the Netherlands’
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is working with one of Nicaragua’s leading
microfinance institutions to increase access to finance for micro and small
entrepreneurs, which are critical to the country's economic growth.
IFC will help FUNDESER (Fundación para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico Rural)
improve its credit risk management system in order to expand its loan portfolio
while maintaining sound risk performance standards. In addition, IFC will
help FUNDESER become a regulated financial entity, in line with government
“Improving the sustainability of Nicaragua’s microfinance sector is critical
to helping thousands of micro-entrepreneurs thrive, following a period
of economic recession,” said Rene Romero Arrechavala, FUNDESER’s Chief
Executive Officer. “FUNDESER is committed to working with IFC to support
a more inclusive financial system and fill an important gap, particularly
for rural entrepreneurs who need financing to grow their businesses.”
Gaining access to finance is one of the biggest obstacles for private sector
firms in Nicaragua. Microfinance is the main source of funding for Nicaragua’s
micro, small and medium enterprises, which contribute 40 percent of the
country’s gross domestic product and employ 80 percent of the workforce.
Across Nicaragua there are approximately 315,250 micro-borrowers and $273
million in outstanding loans. FUNDESER is Nicaragua’s second largest microfinance
institution in terms of assets and portfolio. As of 2012, it reached approximately
22,398 clients, nearly half of whom are women. Through its network of 19
branches, FUNDESER reaches borrowers who are underserved by commercial
banks and microfinance institutions. Approximately 77 percent of its loans
are made in rural areas of the country.
“Micro and small enterprises are the backbone of many economies, including
Nicaragua’s,” said Ghada Teima, IFC Access to Finance Manager for Latin
America and the Caribbean. “Through its Advisory Services, IFC helps build
the capacity of microfinance institutions like FUNDESER, enabling them
to expand access to finance and create opportunities for micro and small
Since Nicaragua became a member of IFC in 1956, IFC has invested $350.2
million in the country’s private sector, including $12.4 million in syndications.
IFC also implements advisory programs to improve the business climate,
build skills of local entrepreneurs, and promote access to finance and
markets for small businesses.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
FUNDESER (Fundación para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico Rural) is a nongovernmental
organization in Managua, Nicaragua. FUNDESER began as a credit and training
program for small-scale farming producers before being established as an
NGO in 2000. It mainly focuses on rural areas of Nicaragua, offering loans
for working capital, home improvement and education through its 19 branches.
The agricultural sector receives 53 percent of loans disbursed by FUNDESER
while 36 percent is directed to the trade sector. As of 2012, FUNDESER
reported to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) total assets of
$15.3 million, 22,398 active borrowers, return on assets of 3.9 percent
and return on equity of 18.6 percent. FUNDESER is in the process of becoming
a regulated financial institution as of 2014. FUNDESER is affiliated with
the Nicaraguan Association of Microfinance Institutions, ASOMIF, and supervised
by the National Commission of Microfinance Institutions, CONAMI. For more
information, visit www.fundeser.org.ni