IIC Approves Loan of MX$14 Million for a Housing Development for 7,000 Low-Income Families


IIC loan to construction company Ecoblock International will benefit areas outside of urban centers

Washington, D.C., September 17, 2015 — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a loan of up to MX$14 million for the Mexican company Ecoblock International S.A. de C.V. SOFOM ENR (Échale) to finance the expansion of its ecological housing development business that will benefit some 7,000 low income families in the Mexican states of Quintana Roo, Puebla, Querétaro, State of Mexico, and Nayarit.

“We are delighted to support Échale by providing long-term financing in local currency to expand its innovative and inclusive business model, which not only provides a sustainable housing solution to families at the base of the pyramid, but also engages these families in the design and construction of their homes,” said Elisabeth Mondl, the investment officer in charge of the operation.

The project was developed by the Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority (OMJ) and the IIC in the context of the new BoP Direct initiative that benefits small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small financial intermediaries that serve the base of the pyramid.

“This loan is an opportunity to provide some 7,000 families a good, sustainable home over the next five years. These families will benefit from a home where they can grow, build a new community with a restored social fabric; acquire a new skill to help them increase their income; and, most importantly, build an estate for current and future generations,” said Francesco Piazzesi, founder and president of Ecoblock International.

Ecoblock International is a Mexican company that provides housing solutions for low-income families in Mexico under a program called “Échale a tu casa.” Known in the market as “Échale,” the company operates with an innovative business model based on using sustainable materials and offering technical training for communities in order to engage families in the design and construction of the homes.

In addition, the company provides financial education to the families and helps them to access financing for the new houses. Since its founding in 1997, Échale has built more than 30,000 new housing units and has improved more than 150,000 homes. In doing so, it has received worldwide recognition for its innovative and socially responsible model.

About the IIC

The IIC, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, promotes private-sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The IIC provides companies with funding in the form of equity investments, loans, and guarantees, as well as technical assistance, advisory services, and innovative knowledge products. In 2014, the IIC approved 64 operations for a total amount of US$426.3 million. Since its inception, the IIC has approved more than 920 direct loan and equity investments to SMEs and financial intermediaries, for a total of US$5.63 billion. An additional US$3.7 billion has been mobilized through financing and syndication agreements. For more information on the IIC, visit www.iic.org.

Contact: Elisabeth Mondl

Telephone: + (202) 623-2541 in Washington, D.C.

Email: emondl@iadb.org