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Press release
February 25, 2022

IDB Invest, FinDev Canada and BNCR join forces to issue first Social Bond in Costa Rica

Press Releases

The Social Bond will support MSMEs in Costa Rica.

More than 30% of Banco Nacional's loan portfolio is in the hands of SMEs

Expected Development Impact


  • Increasing access to financing for Costa Rican microentrepreneurs: MSMEs play a major role in Costa Rica’s economy, as they represent approximately 98% of the country’s businesses and 31% of national employment. As a result, and in the context of the economic crisis induced by COVID‑19, increasing access to financing for men and women microentrepreneurs is key for the economic recovery of Costa Rica.
  • Catalyzing the growth of Costa Rica’s MSME ecosystem: as the largest commercial bank in the country and with approximately 36,000 MSME clients in 2020 (just over half of the 68,000 registered MSMEs in the country), BNCR is well positioned to reach this segment: it is estimated that approximately 5,500 MSMEs and WMSME will be able to access financing derived from the social bond’s proceeds. Supporting the MSME ecosystem in Costa Rica will, in turn, fuel local value chains, incomes, and jobs.

Market Development

Approximately 5,500 MSMEs and WMSMEs will be able to access financing derived from the social bond’s proceeds.


  • Providing access to financing for women entrepreneurs: BNCR will on‑lend 40% of the social bond’s proceeds to WMSME clients. This is significant, as it will encourage the growth of this segment (approximately one‑third of BNCR’s MSME clients are WMSMEs). Within the context of COVID‑19, which has had a disproportionately negative impact on women entrepreneurs, promoting access to financing for WMSMEs is even more important. This commitment demonstrates BNCR’s intention to support Costa Rican women entrepreneurs, which is further showcased by it being a member of the Financial Alliance for Women and a signatory of the Women’s Empowerment Principles of UN Women.
  • Promoting women’s representation in leadership and employment in the bank: at BNCR, women represent 57% of the Board of Directors and 50% of employees, with benefits and programs in place promoting quality employment and equal opportunity in the workplace. As a 2X Challenge qualifying transaction, BNCR is committed to maintaining gender‑balanced representation and a gender‑inclusive workplace.