Costa Rica: IFC and COOPENAE Strengthen Access to Finance for Micro and Small En...

Feb 2012
San Jose, Costa Rica, February, 28 2012 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Costa Rican financial cooperative COOPENAE increase the availability of financial services for micro and small enterprises in the country, spurring job creation and economic growth.

Micro and small enterprises are a significant driver of the Costa Rican economy, representing 94 percent of formal companies and providing 33 percent of private sector jobs. Yet they are underserved by financial institutions.

This initiative, supported by the government of Spain’s Spanish Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, will provide advisory services to help COOPENAE identify areas for improvement in its current micro and small enterprise credit operations and strengthen its institutional capabilities to better serve this market. In addition, IFC is providing $15 million in financing to help COOPENAE to expand its operations in the country.

COOPENAE, Costa Rica's biggest savings and credit cooperative and fifth largest private financial institution, has started to address a significant component of the micro and small enterprise segment, due to the saturation of its original consumer loan target market and the need to diversify risks.

"The mission of COOPENAE focuses on improving the quality of life of our partners by directing our efforts to the productive sector of the country and ensuring a greater competitiveness through financing for micro and small enterprises,” said Adrian Alvarez, COOPENAE’s General Manager.

Dan Shepherd, IFC Acting Program Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “This project shows IFC’s commitment in Central America to fostering opportunities that develop regional capital markets and strengthen local financial institutions. As in other countries in Latin America, micro and small enterprises are the backbone of the economy in Costa Rica, so expanding access to finance to this segment is paramount for economic growth in the country.”

Source : IFC

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