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IIC launches InvestAmericas, a platform to foster financing for small and medium-sized enterprises

Innovative initiative to put SMEs in contact with local and international investors

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador – The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) is introducing InvestAmericas, an innovative online platform that will connect Ecuadorean companies seeking financing from local and international investors. The presentation took place during FOROMIC, the most important microfinance event in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

“We want InvestAmericas to be the place where deals start, where companies in the region—including in Ecuador—find financing and where investors can access the most interesting business opportunities. The platform will be a meeting place that stimulates the country’s and the region’s development,” said Gregory Da Re, Strategy and Innovation Division chief for the IIC. 

There are more than 16,000 small and medium-size enterprises in Ecuador. However, only 15 percent of all credit goes to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), even though SMEs are the backbone of the economy. The difficulty in accessing sources of financing is a common problem that limits growth throughout the region. The financing shortfall for SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean is estimated at between $125 and $155 billion. 

InvestAmericas will use a collaborative community to foster business opportunities that need financing. During its first phase, it will operate in Colombia, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Although the platform will not launch for Ecuador until 2015, companies, investors, service providers, and local support institutions can preregister to be among the first to take advantage of its benefits. 

In addition to promoting access to financing, InvestAmericas seeks to reduce the costs of due diligence prior to an investment. To do so, the platform will also incorporate service providers that give strategic, operational, and technical support during these processes. Organizations that provide support to businesses—such as chambers of commerce or accelerators—will also be represented in InvestAmericas, something that will help stimulate the supply of potential deals.

The new platform is a reflection of the emphasis that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group is placing on innovation and new technologies. InvestAmericas is part of ConnectAmericas, the first social network for businesses designed to help SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean grow their businesses and expand abroad. ConnectAmericas offers three areas of service: Connect, Learn, and Finance. InvestAmericas is available through ConnectAmericas’sFinance area.

About the IIC

The IIC, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, promotes private-sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We help companies streamline management processes and provide them with financing in the form of equity investments, loans, and guarantees, as well as innovative technical assistance, advisory services, and knowledge products. In 2013, the IIC approved 71 operations totaling $415.4 million. Since its inception in 1989, the IIC has approved more than 800 direct loans to SMEs and financial intermediaries, for a total of $5.2 billion. An additional $3 billion has been mobilized through cofinancing and syndication agreements.

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