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IDB Invest finances women-owned MSMEs in Brazil together with Itaú Unibanco

IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, announced today the closing and disbursement of a $100 million loan to the Brazilian bank Itaú Unibanco. This project supports micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Brazil that are majority-owned by women seeking to increase the financing available in this market segment.

The IDB Invest loan will help to scale the Mulher Empreendedora program of Itaú Unibanco. The main objective of this program is to empower women entrepreneurs in Brazil, who are growing in number and increasing their participation in the economy. Since the beginning of the program more than 6,000 women entrepreneurs have registered on the platform — 4,760 of them are Itaú customers. Overall, 43,000 people have been involved in the program through Itaú’s social media network.

Resources from the loan will be on-lent to MSMEs that are at least 51 percent owned by women and with annual sales of up to R$8 million (roughly $2.5 million). The new operation is complementary to the technical cooperation provided since 2013 by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), part of the IDB Group, dedicated to developing products and services specifically tailored for women entrepreneurs through the women entrepreneurship Banking (weB) program. In five years the weB program has approved loans and technical support to 18 financial institutions in 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Itaú Unibanco will complement the loan resources from the IDB Invest financing with non-financial services, which will improve the value proposition that its women-entrepreneur customers receive. The bank offers in-person and online solutions to train, inspire and connect women entrepreneurs such as online mentoring networking events and content related to business, leadership and management. Itaú Unibanco is one of the few banks in the region that has built a platform that offers its clients a non-financial services catalog that provides additional value by not only focusing on access to credit, but also on the range of possibilities that women entrepreneurs can access with that financing.

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 the private sector 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 $11.6 billion under management and 330 clients in 21 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.

About Itaú Unibanco

With a history of more than 90 years, Itaú Unibanco is the largest private sector bank in Latin America. The bank is present in 19 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia and employs some 96 thousand. It has an expanded service network made up of more than four thousand branches and banking services outlets and 46 thousand ATMs nationwide, serving both individual and corporate clients in all segments. In addition, its aim is to become an increasingly digitized institution – 73% of all its transactions are conducted through digital channels, 50% of these through the intermediary of cell phones. Itaú’s vision is to be the leading bank in sustainable performance and customer satisfaction. It offers products and services that meet the needs of the clients, reflecting continuous efforts in providing the best experience to all those who interact with it every day. The bank’s equities are traded on the São Paulo, New York and Buenos Aires stock exchanges, while the institution has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for 18 consecutive years.

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