BOGOTÁ—Luis Alberto Moreno, President of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and David Bohigian, Acting President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), today joined Advisor to the President of the United States Ivanka Trump and President of Colombia Ivan Duque to announce letters of intent to provide financing to MAS Equity Fund IV and Altra Fund III, two Colombian private sector investment funds that will apply a gender lens to their investments.
The projects would mark two of the first commitments under Fund Mujer, an alliance launched by IDB Invest and OPIC to advance gender-focused investment strategies in Latin America. Announced at the W20 in Buenos Aires in October 2018, Fund Mujer aims to narrow the female credit gap in Latin America and represents the first gender-lens fund in the region.
While small and medium enterprises make up a majority of the private sector in Latin America, these businesses—particularly those owned by women—face steep barriers to accessing credit. MAS Equity Fund IV and Altra Fund III will address this challenge by investing in businesses owned by, led by, or supporting women in the region. Both projects are subject to IDB Invest and OPIC’s comprehensive review and approval processes before they are finalized.
“Closing the gender credit gap is critical to creating economic opportunities and new sources of growth in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Moreno. “Our partnership with OPIC will enable us to bring more private sector investors into this effort.”
“Investing with a gender lens is more than just the right thing to do—it’s also a smart business decision,” said Bohigian. “OPIC is proud to partner with IDB Invest through Fund Mujer and advance gender-focused investment strategies that support the Administration’s efforts to empower women globally.”
Today’s announcement advances the mission of 2X Americas, which falls under OPIC’s broader 2X Women’s Initiative—a key component of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative. Through 2X, OPIC aims to support investment in businesses and funds owned by, led by, or providing a product or service that empowers women.
IDB Invest launched women entrepreneurshipBanking (weB) in 2012. Since then, this program has worked with more than 20 financing intermediaries (banks, bonds issuers, and funds) to finance women-led businesses.
Advisor Trump is leading an official U.S. delegation to South America that includes Bohigian, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, and USAID Administrator Mark Green to advance W-GDP. The delegation will continue to Argentina and Paraguay.
About IDB Invest
IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects so they can achieve financial results and maximize the region’s economic, social, and environmental development. With a portfolio of $12.4 billion in assets under administration and 342 clients in 24 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services in response to its clients’ needs in a variety of sectors.
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. OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.