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IFC Helps Nicaragua’s FUNDESER Increase Access to Financial Services for Rural Micro and Small Entrepreneurs


In Washington, D.C.:
Vanessa Bauzá, IFC

Phone: +1 202-458-1603

Email:
vbauza@ifc.org

In Managua, Nicaragua:
René Romero Arrechavala, FUNDESER
Phone: +505-2268-1520

Email:
Rene.romero@fundeser.org.ni


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 guidelines.


“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 enterprises.”


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.


About IFC

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.

About FUNDESER

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

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