Buenos Aires, October 2, 2018 – IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, and The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announce an alliance for the creation of the first gender-focused fund for Latin America and the Caribbean for up to $200 million. Fund Mujer is expected to be comprised of 30 percent debt and 70 percent equity.
The aim of the fund is to narrow the gender financing gap in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting investment strategies focused on female entrepreneurs, companies with a significant share of women leaders, and firms that generate jobs or consumer products for women.
"Women-owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide face a $1.7 trillion shortfall in access to finance. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the region with best gender parity in early-stage entrepreneurship, the business opportunity could reach more than $98 billion,” explains Gema Sacristan, chief investment officer at IDB Invest.
“With Fund Mujer, we are not only investing in women-owned and led enterprises. We are also investing in enterprises that provide quality employment and access to products and services that address critical barriers, so that we may enhance women’s economic participation and success. With Fund Mujer, we are moving beyond merely counting women; we are also valuing women,” adds Kathryn Kaufman, managing director for Global Women’s Issues at OPIC.
The creation of the fund underscores IDB Invest’s and OPIC’s commitment to expanding financing options for women in Latin America and the Caribbean, and builds on both institutions’ leadership in gender lens investing. OPIC, the United States’ development finance institution, recently launched its 2X Initiative, the criteria for which will be applied to this fund. The initiative will be carried out through a Request for Proposals (RFP) to support one or more funds with a gender lens investment strategy. It is expected that the selected fund manager(s) will be announced during the first quarter of 2019.
About IDB Invest
IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to supporting businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean. It finances sustainable enterprises and projects to achieve financial results that maximize economic, social and environmental development for the region. With a current portfolio of $11.2 billion under management and 330 clients in 23 countries, IDB Invest works across sectors to provide innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the evolving demands of its clients. As of November 2017, IDB Invest is the trade name of the Inter-American Investment Corporation.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.
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Ana Lucía Escudero