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Press release
December 10, 2019

FinDev Canada invests in leading Ecuadorian financial cooperative Cooprogreso

Press Releases

The loan will help increase access to finance for low-income customers

Expected Development Impact

Market development

  • Enabling Micro, small and medium enterprises growth (MSME): 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. Their financial offering includes loans to small businesses and microentrepreneurs to support SME growth; 
  • Supporting quality employment: The new capital injection is expected to sustain and create nearly 430 direct local jobs, as the growth in Cooprogreso’s loan portfolio will require additional employees to reinforce its operational capabilities. Cooprogreso’s jobs are considered high-quality in the region, offering benefits to permanent and temporary employees such as onsite healthcare and medical services for workers and their families, and training and advancement opportunities, which go beyond what is required by national law. 

Women's Economic Empowerment

Women are well represented at management level, where they account for 67% of management positions and 63% of the senior management team

Women's Economic Empowerment

  • Empowering women in governance, leadership and employment: Cooprogreso is implementing relevant gender equality policies and/or programs with its employees and clients, indicating a strong baseline understanding of gender equality and diversity issues. Women are well represented at management level, where they account for 67% of management positions and 63% of the senior management team which compares positively to the country average of 35% for senior and middle management according to the World Bank. Cooprogreso’s Board members are 44% women, which is higher than the 2X Challenge threshold of 30%. Women also account for over half (57%) of the direct employees at Cooprogreso (2X Challenge threshold is 40% in financial services); 
  • Supporting women-owned or -led SMEs: Cooprogreso provides financial services to low-income women and men, including loans to women microentrepreneurs, which helps boost the local market development. A growing market can give women access to new business opportunities, create jobs for women and spur the development of gendersmart products and services. Cooprogreso’s initiatives are expected to provide 3,000 women with first-time access to financial services. For example, Cooprogreso’s pilot initiative “Circle of Progress” specifically aims to increase access to finance and empowerment tools for women microentrepreneurs through financial services, as well as financial and vocational training for low-income and unbanked women.