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2015 Foromic conference closes with focus on financial inclusion

Santiago, CHILE – The 18th annual Inter-American Forum on Microenterprise (Foromic) closed today with panels that focused on topics including investments and training to enable microenterprises to grow sustainably, retirement savings, revenue-based financing, remittances, and social entrepreneurship. This year’s conference, the leading event in Latin America and the Caribbean focusing on microenterprise and microfinance, brought some 1,300 participants to Chile’s capital city under the overarching theme “The Future of Financial Inclusion.”

In his closing remarks, Hans Schulz, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) interim Vice President for Private Sector and Non-Sovereign Guaranteed Operations, said, “Year after year, we have learned at Foromic that businesses that seek to address social and environmental issues in addition to earning financial returns are more sustainable and successful. Providing financing to startups, protecting workers’ incomes, implementing models that support women, and seeking greener and more efficient solutions are some of the key steps.”

Four new projects signed

During the conference, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno signed agreements for four new projects in the region funded by the IDB Group’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF):

  • In Chile, a partnership with Fundación Lealtad Chile that will promote best practices in transparency and results measurement in the country’s nonprofit sector. This project will build on the work of “Transparentemos,” a past MIF-Fundación Avina project that also focused on standards for transparency and results measurement in the nonprofit sector.
  • In El Salvador, a project co-executed by the Morazán Local Economic Development Agency Foundation and the Limited Liability, Variable Capital Savings, and Microloan Cooperative that will benefit 1,300 rural microentrepreneurs and small-scale producers by introducing a new simplified credit guarantee instrument designed to meet the needs of agricultural producers and entrepreneurs who lack credit histories.
  • In Honduras, a partnership with the José María Covelo Foundation that will expand access to microcredit in rural communities, through innovative tools for risk diversification and management that will strengthen microfinance institutions and other local market entities that provide financing.
  • In Jamaica, a project with Access Financial Services, one of that country’s leading providers of loans to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, that will fund the development of a financial product designed help its clients purchase renewable energy sources. This project is part of EcoMicro, a MIF- Nordic Development Fund program that supports the development of green financial products for microfinance institutions and their clients throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

The closing ceremony featured the participation of Katia Trusich, Subsecretary of the Economy of Chile; Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance and Planning of Jamaica; and Paul Pennicook, Director of Tourism of Jamaica, in addition to the IDB´s Schulz. Foromic 2015 was organized by the MIF, with support from the Chilean Ministry of Economy, Development, and Tourism. Next year’s Foromic conference will be held in Jamaica.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

About the Multilateral Investment Fund

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.