IIC Approves A US$1 Millon Loan To A Private Finance Company In Bolivia Under The Microenterprise Finance Memorandum Of Understanding Signed With The Mif

11/21/2004

Washington, D.C. -- On November 22, 2004, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) signed a US$1 million loan to Fondo Financiero Privado Prodem S.A. (Prodem), a Bolivian microfinance institution that provides funding to rural and urban microenterprises and small companies in Bolivia. The operation will provide financing targeting small companies in Bolivia that need funding for working capital or for purchasing equipment, machinery, or other fixed assets.

Fondo Financiero Privado S.A. (Prodem) focuses on developmental finance for microenterprises and small companies in rural Bolivia. It is the country’s largest financial network, with seventy-three branches nationwide. As is the case for all the other economies in the region, gaining access to funding is essential for fostering economic expansion in Bolivia. Microenterprises and small businesses account for approximately 83% of the country’s jobs and 30% of its gross domestic product. One of the innovative products launched by Prodem is the first network of smart ATMs in smaller cities and rural areas. These ATMs work with fingerprint recognition technology and voice commands in three languages (Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua) and can be used by people who do not know how to read or write.

The project is in line with the IDB group (Inter-American Development Bank, Inter-American Investment Corporation, and Multilateral Investment Fund—MIF) strategy for promoting financing for microenterprises and small businesses through established microfinance institutions. The loan will make it possible to provide financing for 1,000 small companies in Bolivia.

The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is part of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. It 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 borrowing member countries by stimulating the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size.

Contact: Steven Reed/Rita Bettiol

Telephone: (202) 623-3981

Email: stevenr@iadb.org