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Greater access to microfinance services for rural populations in Latin America and the Caribbean

Feb 14, 2014

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has approved a $1 million grant to support the provision of financial products and services to rural populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. In partnership with Incofin Investment Management (Incofin IM), the technical assistance project will help some ten Latin American microfinance institutions with a rural focus acquire the technical capacities (methodologies, products, delivery channels) needed to serve this market. As a result of this initiative, at least 130,000 rural dwellers engaged in agriculture and/or micro businesses will have greater access to more and better financial products and services. 

In Latin America and the Caribbean, rural settings present various challenges, and many microfinance institutions that serve this segment do not have the capacity to overcome them successfully. While the microfinance industry has grown to reach more than 20 million clients and a portfolio of around $40 billion provided by over 1,000 institutions serving poor and low-income populations, a large number of people still lacks meaningful access to financial services, particularly in rural areas. 

The purpose of the project is to support microfinance institutions in acquiring technical skills such as how to identify value chains that can be serviced at different stages with credit, and in developing delivery channels that cater to the needs of rural communities through the introduction of new technologies. Additionally, the organizations should be able to innovate, diversify their products, and adapt their methodologies to the irregular cash flows and longer business cycles typical of agribusinesses. Finally, the institutions should expand their offerings of non-credit services such as savings, payments, insurance, etc.

This first-time partnership between Inconfin IM and the MIF will build on both institutions’ extensive experience in rural microfinance . It will provide useful insights into the design of technical assistance intervention, and will share knowledge based on lessons learned from earlier projects funded by the MIF in Latin America and the Caribbean, and by Incofin IM in Asia and Africa.  

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefitting low-income populations and the poor - their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them the tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory - experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks in order to build and support successful micro and SME business models. More information at www.fomin.org

About Incofin IM

Incofin Investment Management (Incofin IM) is a fund advisory company that manages over $500 million. Since 2001, Incofin IM has specialized in investing in microfinancial institutions in developing countries, showing a verified experience in financial and social analysis, as well as in investment management. A distinctive characteristic of Incofin IM is a strategic focus on investing in rural areas and the agricultural sector. Learn more in https://www.incofin.com 
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