news - FMO-led consortium and Génesis partner up for the benefit of Guatemalan microentrepreneurs


FMO-led consortium and Génesis partner up for the benefit of Guatemalan microentrepreneurs

June 12, 2024

FMO has forged a strategic partnership with Fundación Génesis Empresarial (Génesis), a pioneering foundation based in Guatemala. This collaboration aims to boost support to microentrepreneurs and SMEs in rural communities, bolstering economic growth and combating inequalities in Guatemala's underserved sectors. 

Investment details: 

  • USD 42 million 5-year and USD 43million 7-year tenor syndicated local currency-denominated loans led by FMO will help Génesis access long term and stable funding.  
  • The proposed transaction will not only support Génesis’ ambitions to grow microentrepreneurs’ businesses and their progress, but also to promote life quality improvements as it is a core value for Genesis.  
  • Today Guatemala is an economically stable country with controlled inflation and a stable currency. On the other hand, historically, this development has not benefited the entire population. This transaction is focused on supporting micro-businesses with no access to the traditional financial system, as well as the most vulnerable population in Guatemala, predominantly in the rural areas.  
  • Lenders and Participants of this syndicate will be supporting a well-established, impact-driven franchise with a strong reputation that is fully aligned with DFIs’ and impact investors’ agenda.  

FMO, renowned for its expertise in development finance and its 'AAA' rating from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's, brings substantial financial backing to this partnership. Génesis, founded in 1988, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to finance and technical assistance to microentrepreneurs and SMEs, mainly in Guatemala's rural areas, a segment largely neglected by traditional banking institutions. 

The partnership between FMO and Génesis has resulted in the establishment of a syndicated facility, totaling the equivalent of USD 85 million in local currency GTQ, which stands out by avoiding hard currency indebtedness while providing an important long term loan amount. This syndicated facility, led by FMO and joined by prominent investors such as the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), Norfund, Fund, Invest in Visions, and Enabling Qapital, represents a significant milestone in advancing Génesis' mission to empower Guatemala's microentrepreneurs.  

A key feature of the syndication is its local currency denomination. The transaction counted on the unique support from The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX) that, by providing the FX hedging solution for Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ), made it possible for the transaction to be structured in local currency. As a result, the loans to Génesis do not carry any currency risk, which makes making their future debt obligations completely predictable and unimpacted by possible currency volatility.   

At the heart of this partnership lies a shared commitment to driving sustainable impact and promoting social and economic development. The investment is aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 8 and 10, targeting micro-entrepreneurs and aiming for lasting socio-economic improvements in Guatemala. 

Génesis, with a client base of over 392,998 individuals, of whom 72% are women and 80% reside in rural areas, stands as a beacon of hope in Guatemala's microfinance landscape. Through its client-centric approach, Génesis provides not only financial access but also tailored guidance and training, empowering entrepreneurs to improve their businesses and enhance the quality of life for their families. 

Central to Génesis' mission is the concept of the 'Development Route' (Ruta de Desarrollo), which combines loans with comprehensive technical assistance to address both business and life improvement needs of clients. This holistic approach underscores Génesis' commitment to fostering sustainable change and uplifting communities across Guatemala. 

Mr Huib-Jan de Ruijter, Co-CIO at FMO said: “We’ve supported Fundación Génesis Empresarial in Guatemala since their early days. Over time, they’ve grown into a leading microfinance institution with a well-suited range of products and extensive outreach, particularly benefiting rural communities overlooked by traditional banks. Their commendable 'Development Route' approach combines financial support for entrepreneurial activities with vital assistance for basic necessities. We're confident and proud to renew our partnership and to lead as the arranger of this syndicated facility denominated in local currency. We extend our thanks to Génesis and our investment partners for this impactful cooperation.”  

Mr Edgardo Pérez, CEO at Fundación Génesis Empresarial added: “We are very enthusiastic about this partnership, and appreciate the significant support of FMO and thank them for their confidence. This project will allow us to continue improving the ‘Development Route’ of our clients and their families. It will support us to accelerate financial inclusion, deepen outreach in rural areas and promote the growth of businesses, agricultural activities, housing improvements and formal educations.”  

For media inquiries, please contact:
FMO: Monica Beek, T: +31 70 314 9130
Génesis: Adela Sagastume,, T: +502 5411 9200