Montreal, November 29th, 2021 FinDev Canada is helping businesses in Costa Rica access financing for working capital and expansion. Today, FinDev Canada announced a US 15 million loan to Banco Promerica Costa Rica (Promerica). Promerica will on-lend 30 % to women-owned led small and medium-sized enterprises (WSMEs) and 30% will support green projects.
Banco Promerica is one of the founding signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking, a commitment championed by the United Nations Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI). Promerica supports climate action and gender equality as demonstrated by its commitment to achieving Net-Zero status in 2050 and to the UN Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs).
SMEs in Costa Rica generate almost one-third of all jobs, yet many of them struggle to obtain financing for growth. WSMEs currently represent 33% of Promerica’s SME clients, and 30% of the SME loan portfolio in volume. By offering innovative financial products and services, Promerica is supporting SMEs, as they look to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Promerica also offers Créditos Verdes (Green Loans) that provide specialized financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental protection projects.
“This loan to Banco Promerica Costa Rica is another great example of how we can partner with financial intermediaries who themselves are striving to better support their clients,” said Paulo Martelli, VP and Chief Investment Officer of FinDev Canada. “Promerica already has a strong relationship with Costa Rican SMEs and offers financing adapted to their needs. FinDev Canada’s loan will further this work overall, with a special focus on women-owned or led SMEs, green growth and sustainable development.”
"The signing of this new partnership fills us with pride and satisfaction, since it allows us to open one more door to SMEs in our country, it´s the checkered flag for our program to give more access to women lead companies and allows us to continue expand our green portfolio. All of these contributing to fulfilling our commitment as a signatory bank of the Principles of Responsible Banking", stated Luis Carlos Rodríguez Manager of Finance and Operations.
The US$ 15 million loan will enable Promerica to continue its work with Costa Rica’s SMEs a loan portfolio that has grown significantly in the past two years, therefore contributing to the increased economic well-being of men and women in the country. To complement their financial offering, Promerica supports its clients through the digitalization of services and by providing financial education, two key areas critical to reducing gender gaps and increasing access to financial services.
Women’s economic empowerment
Banco Promerica signed the United Nations’ WEPS and developed a Gender Equity Policy to officialise further its commitment to women’s economic empowerment and gender equality. This transaction qualifies for the 2X Challenge given that, 30% of the FinDev Canada loan is dedicated to women-owned or led SMEs, and that women represent 50% of Promerica employees.
With 30% of the FinDev Canada loan dedicated to green projects, Promerica’s innovative Créditos Verdes (Green Loans) program will get additional support. The program offers advantageous borrowing conditions for projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental protection, with an emphasis on financing of solar photovoltaic equipment, transport with low impact on the environment or that decreases CO2 emissions, and energy efficiency technologies.
Development Finance Institutions and COVID-19
FinDev Canada has a mandate to support companies that have a presence in the areas most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Investments will help guarantee that developing markets continue to have liquidity, providing important support for the recovery of the economic and social consequences of this crisis.
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 topics: economic development through job creation, women’s economic empowerment, and climate change mitigation. The Development Finance Institute Canada Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC).
About the 2X Challenge
The 2X Challenge was founded by the development finance institutions (DFIs) from the G7 as a call to action to shift more capital towards investments that empower women in developing countries to access entrepreneurship and leadership opportunities, quality jobs, and products and services that enhance their economic participation. More information about the 2X Challenge can be found here: https://www.2xchallenge.org
What’s the criteria for qualifying for a 2X investment?
- Whether a business is majority owned by women or founded by a woman
- The share of women in senior management or on the board
- The share of women in the workforce
- Whether a product or service specifically or disproportionately benefits women
- If a certain percent of loan proceeds in a deal through financial intermediaries supports women.
About Promerica Costa Rica
Banco Promerica Costa Rica ("PROMERICA" or "the bank") is a privately owned universal bank in Costa Rica, established in 1992. PROMERICA has incorporated into its strategy to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through the financing of SMEs, green loans, agribusiness and middle-class mortgages. It was also the first Costa Rican Bank to sign the United Nations Principles of Responsible Banking.
More information: www.promerica.fi.cr
About Grupo Promerica
Banco Promerica Costa Rica is part of Grupo Promerica, one of the largest regional financial groups in Central America with consolidated assets of over USD $17.5 billion, 2.6 million clients as of September 2021. The Group consists of nine banks, located across Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Cayman Islands.
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