IIC Approves A Loan Of Up To US$5 Million To Colombia’S Confecciones Leonisa S.A.

11/27/2006

This Company Works With a Wide Network of Cooperatives

Washington, DC -- On November 28, 2006, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a medium-term loan of up to US$5 million to Confecciones Leonisa S.A. for the company to improve its financial profile. Confecciones Leonisa S.A. is the principal company in a business group that operates in the lingerie industry. The company outsources 50% of its garment production to small manufacturers that compose a supply chain.

The loan will provide greater stability for Confecciones Leonisa S.A. to develop its manufacturing and marketing operations in an increasingly competitive, global industry. The company depends on a supply chain of twelve worker cooperatives and over fifty small garment manufacturers, of which half are women microentrepreneurs. The entire chain provides approximately 2,500 jobs.

Efforts on the part of Leonisa S.A.’s owners led to the founding of three worker cooperatives that have improved the living conditions of low-income people near Medellín. These cooperatives provide approximately 1,000 jobs, mainly for women. In many cases single mothers and female heads of household occupy management positions in the cooperatives.

The Inter-American Investment Corporation, a multilateral financial institution that is part of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, provides financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IIC's mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. For more information on the IIC's activities, please visit www.iic.int.

Contact: David Levy (in Washington D.C.)

Telephone: (202) 623-3969

Email: davidl@iadb.org