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Institutions of Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and the Dominican Republic win the Inter-American Awards for Financial and Business Innovation of the IDB

The winners will be honored during the Foromic conference in Buenos Aires (Argentina) on October 30, 2017

Ecomania Civil Association Environmental Awareness of Argentina, Bancolombia of Colombia, the National Commission for the Retirement Savings System (CONSAR) of Mexico and the Savings and Credit Bank ADOPEM of the Dominican Republic, are the winners of this year’s Inter-American Awards for Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation for their excellent work in support of financial inclusion and business development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The key focus of the awards this year was financial inclusion and the use of digital technology. These awards from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are given by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) within the framework of Foromic, the region's main event on financial inclusion, microfinance and entrepreneurship, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from October 30th – November 1st.

The awards ceremony will take place during the inauguration ceremony of Foromic 2017, at the cultural center CCK (Sarmiento 151) on October 30, 18:30hr - 20:00 hr. The opening ceremony will be attended by IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and senior officials from the Government of Argentina.

Winners of the two categories

The 2017 Award in the Institutions that Promote Financial Inclusion category recognizes financial services providers that are successfully using digital technologies to grant access to inclusive products and services to traditionally underserved or excluded segments.

The winner of this Award in the sub-category "Regulated Financial Intermediaries" is Bancolombia, selected for its efficient use of digital technologies in the provision of financial services for underserved populations in Colombia. We highlight the success achieved by its products "Ahorro a la Mano" and "Crédito a la Mano" that achieved a significant reduction of transaction costs with this segment of clients.

Similarly, CONSAR won this Award in the subcategory "Other Financial Service Providers" for the development and launch of AforeMovil an application that allows millions of Mexicans to take control of their retirement savings accounts. It also allows small and microentrepreneurs and independent workers or Mexicans living abroad to open and manage their retirement savings accounts.

The Award Financial Services for Small Farmers recognizes outstanding initiatives from a wide range of suppliers in the agricultural ecosystem that provide financial services and products to promote financial inclusion or strengthen the productivity and resilience of small-scale agricultural producers in the region. In particular, initiatives have been valued for their ability to demonstrate a high level of customer acquisition and scalability.

In this category the Savings and Credit Bank ADOPEM of the Dominican Republic won the Award for its "Agro-Credito ADOPEM" program, which has allowed the placement of rural microcredits that consider the production cycles of different agricultural items. It is also worth noting the role played by ATAMOVIL, a digital device used by its credit officers to carry out the complete process of processing credit applications from the communities, with a reduction in transaction and operating costs.

National Award

Last,the National Award for Innovation in Microfinance FINC 2017, organized by the Foncap and Banco Nacion, recognizes the efforts of entrepreneurs who promote innovative alternatives in this sector in Argentina.The Award this year is given to Ecomania Civil Association Environmental Awareness of Argentina for the success of its “Seeds One Tempo Inclusive Finances” initiative, whose purpose is to give access to credit to entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs who live in vulnerable suburbs of Buenos Aires.

Seeds is based on a technological tool adapted to the needs of microfinance institutions to improve productivity by organizing agendas, coordinating tasks, optimizing resources and processes, and providing orderly, digitized and real-time information; which also facilitates the tasks of monitoring and auditing by their anchors.

The Seeds program generates significant impacts on cost reduction, resource coordination and information management, which allows for the expansion of financial inclusion alternatives, particularly in vulnerable social sectors.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund serves as an IDBG innovation laboratory to promote development through the private sector by identifying, supporting, testing and piloting new solutions to development challenges and seeking to create opportunities for the poor and vulnerable populations in the LAC region. To fulfill its role, the MIF engages and inspires the private sector and works with the public sector when needed.

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.

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