On International Women’s Day, FMO announced a loan of USD 50 mln to Mibanco, Banco de la Microempresa S.A, the largest MFI bank in Peru to provide increased access to finance to women-owned MSMEs across the country. The FMO loan is part of a syndicated transaction together with IFC, which led the transaction and earlier provided up to USD 100 mln in financing. The signing took place at the residency of the Dutch Ambassador to Peru, Nathalie Lintvelt.
(M)SMEs make up 99.5% of Peruvian enterprises and employ over half of the economically active population, yet only 9.4% have access to a formal financial system. With a financing gap of over USD 8 bln in the formal SME sector, and at least USD 40 bln in the informal sector, these enterprises—particularly women-owned enterprises—require inclusive finance in order to truly thrive.
Founded in 1998, Mibanco’s central mission has always been financial inclusion. Within Peru, it is seen as the market leader in MSME lending, with an active presence across the country for nearly 1 million clients and a particular emphasis on women-owned MSMEs.
Mibanco focuses primarily on offering products and services to micro and small enterprises, such as credit lines, fixed asset or working capital loans, and financial advisory services programs. Having expanded to becoming the largest MFI bank in the country, Mibanco is focusing on a digitalization strategy through a hybrid business model, allowing it to improve efficiency for its longstanding customers.
FMO’s and IFC’s investment in Mibanco supports financial and market inclusiveness across Peru, allowing women-owned businesses to have better access to products and services custom-tailored to their needs. As such, this transaction meets SDG 10 of Reducing Inequalities, SDG 5 for Gender Equality, and also as SDG 8 for Decent Work and Economic Growth, by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.
Marleen Jansen, Manager Financial Institutions: Latin America and Caribbean, said: “Despite the positive developments in reducing poverty and inequality in Peru between the years 2001-2019, the pandemic disproportionately impacted the population in the informal economy. Particularly women were negatively affected. We are happy to support Mibanco’s mission to finance the unbanked and to dedicate this funding to women-owned and women-led microenterprises and SMEs.”
A long-standing client, IFC will also advise the bank to strengthen its gender business while promoting gender inclusion more actively within the bank’s SME loan portfolio.
Elizabeth Martínez Marcano, IFC Country Manager for the Andean Region, stated: "Mibanco will help women-owned companies in Peru have greater access to financing and products aimed at promoting inclusion in the market. It will also help by boosting the creation of jobs and drive sustainable growth.”
“Given the challenges of a post-pandemic economy, FMO’s loan will help Mibanco diversify its funding base to support both formal and informal women-owned MSMEs. We will be able to show the viability of underwriting specific women-owned enterprises, particularly those outside the capital city of Lima and those with larger financial needs—SMEs, as opposed to microenterprises. We hope to continue narrowing the gap in access to finance in Peru with stability and determination,” stated Carlos Sotelo, CFO of Mibanco.
He also added: “Mibanco has consistently been working to reduce gender gaps. oOne the main examples is Crédito Mujer. It is a product created six years ago, aimed at women microentrepreneurs or dependents with or without credit experience, who also have an emerging business. Since then, we have managed to serve 124,000 micro-entrepreneurs, of which 50,000 accessed a financial product for the first time. In 2022, we adjusted it according to the current demand and needs to relaunch it and achieve a greater reach.”
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2022, IFC committed a record $32.8 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Mibanco is the leading microfinance financial institution in Latin America and the second most relevant player worldwide. In Peru, Mibanco has 25 years of experience working with the purpose of transforming people's lives, committed to their financial inclusion and progress. It has a loan portfolio of USD 3.7 billion, close to 1.9 million clients and more than 280 service points throughout Peru.