IIC launches GREENPYME Central America to help SMEs reduce energy expenses


270 SMEs trained in the benefits of investing in energy efficiency measures

Guatemala City, Guatemala – The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), in cooperation with BAC|CREDOMATIC, held five energy efficiency workshops for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) from August 17-30, 2011, in conjunction with the launch of the GREENPYME program in Central America. SMEs benefited from the first-hand experiences of companies that have already implemented such measures and are using efficient technologies in their productive processes.

"We are very pleased to have participated in the launching of the GREENPYME program in Central America," noted Javier Sancho, Corporate Banking Senior Manager at BAC San José. "Our clients are excited and interested in this joint initiative with the IIC. We believe this will result in projects to improve companies’ energy savings and, hence, their competitiveness in our region."

According to Jorge Roldán, IIC Technical Assistance and Strategic Partnerships Division Chief, "The launch of GREENPYME in Central America was a logical step, given high energy costs and inefficiencies that negatively impact the competitiveness of SMEs in the region. We are very pleased with the positive reaction and interest in the program companies have demonstrated, and are looking forward to providing SMEs with access to knowledge and state-of-the-art technologies."

Speakers at the workshops included service and technology providers who introduced and explained how efficient technologies work and what they can do to improve SME productive activities. Experts, provided by the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative (SECCI) Unit of the Inter-American Development Bank, discussed the importance of energy audits as a first step to identifying opportunities for lowering energy costs, and introduced the concept of carbon finance as a means of promoting energy efficiency among SMEs. In addition, BAC presented green lines available to finance these types of investments. SMEs that participated in these workshops may be eligible to receive free technical assistance for energy audits.

GREENPYME is an IIC program that helps SMEs become more competitive by promoting energy efficiency and clean technologies, and provides SMEs with practical tools to improve their competitiveness in a market with high and volatile energy prices. By leveraging partnerships with local banks such as BAC|CREDOMATIC, GREENPYME helps to provide access to green financing, and thus assists in improving access to financing for energy efficiency measures and energy audits. GREENPYME Central America receives financial support from donors, primarily from the Nordic Development Fund (www.ndf.fi) as well as from strategic partners in the region. For more information on the program, please visit greenpyme.iic.org

About the IIC

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution whose 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. It does so by providing financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2010, the IIC reached US$1.4 billion in assets and approved forty-nine operations channeling US$374.8 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.org

Contact: Katrin Reinhart

Telephone: (202) 623-2877

Email: katrinr@iadb.org