Montreal, December 10, 2019 - FinDev Canada announced a loan of USD 7.5 million to Cooprogreso, a leading financial cooperative in Ecuador providing access to financial services to low income customers. The loan will facilitate Cooprogreso’s operations growth, serving its members through microfinance, commercial and personal loans.
Founded in 1969, Cooprogreso has spent the last 50 years growing into one of the leading financial institutions in Ecuador. Now the 4th largest financial cooperative in the country, with 26 branches, Cooprogreso’s practice and management are based on the principles of responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Cooprogreso’s strong impact on financial markets and positive financial track record ensure access to finance while being committed to sustainable financial sector best practices.
The loan will help bolster Cooprogreso’s existing initiatives, while also providing access to financial services to Ecuadorian women and men, primarily to low-income customers. Cooprogreso especially contributes to local market growth, and women’s economic empowerment; focus areas for FinDev Canada.
“Working with Cooprogreso is a great opportunity, both to develop a strategic partnership with a solid actor in the cooperative financial sector and to operate within one of our priority countries,” said Suzanne Gaboury, Chief Investment Officer of FinDev Canada. “We look forward to collaborating with such a committed partner, especially in making an impact locally.”
Stalin Muñoz, General Manager of Cooprogreso, thanked FinDev Canada for their commitment and support to achieve this partnership. The investment will allow for the advancement of the social responsibility projects lead by Cooprogreso, which will improve the quality of life of thousands of low-income women.
Access to finance for low-income customers
FinDev Canada’s loan will contribute towards supporting Cooprogreso’s financial services for low-income customers, especially programs that target segments of the population with limited or no access to finance. The financial offering includes small business loans, consumer loans, savings and medical insurance programs.
In addition, the expansion of Cooprogreso’s operations will create quality local jobs and contribute to the local value chain since Cooprogreso’s operational purchasing is predominantly made to Ecuadorian businesses.
Cooprogreso is a signatory of the UN Global Compact and is committed to actively contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially concerning poverty reduction, market development and women’s economic empowerment.
Financing options for women
Cooprogreso is committed to furthering the already substantial contributions they make to promoting women’s economic empowerment.
Cooprogreso’s initiatives will provide 3,000 women with first-time access to financial services, which will supplement existing efforts to provide financial and vocational training to low-income and unbanked women. Furthermore, the loan will support nearly 430 direct quality jobs, predominantly for women. Women already account for over half (57%) of the direct employees at Cooprogreso and represent 67% of management positions, and 63% of senior management.
Given the significant contribution to women’s economic empowerment, this transaction qualifies for the 2X Challenge, an initiative launched by the G7 development finance institutions in 2018 to mobilize capital towards projects that benefit women, now with 13 active members.
About FinDev Canada
The Development Finance Institute Canada (DFIC) Inc., operating under the FinDev Canada brand, is a Canadian institution dedicated to providing financial services to the private sector in developing countries with the aim of combating poverty through economic growth by focusing on three main themes: economic development through job creation, women economic empowerment, and climate change mitigation. The Development Finance Institute Canada (DFIC) Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC). Find out more about FinDev Canada here.
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