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Institutions from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and Peru Win the Inter-American Awards for Microenterprise Development

Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno to honor winners during the Foromic in Barbados, 1-3 October

Banco ADOPEM of the Dominican Republic, Banca Comunitaria Banesco from Venezuela, Financiera Comultrasan from Colombia, and Colectivo Integral de Desarrollo CID from Peru, have won this year’s Inter-American Awards for Microenterprise Development for their excellence in providing support to microenterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The winners will be honored on Oct. 1, during the inauguration of the 2012 Foromic, the region’s leading event for supporting and financing microenterprises, SMEs, and small farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean. Foromic will take place in Bridgetown, Barbados, from Oct. 1–3.

Barbados Prime Minister The Hon. Freundel Stuart, Q.C., M.P. and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno are scheduled to attend the event’s inauguration.

The award for the best microfinance institution went to Banco ADOPEM, of the Dominican Republic, for its innovative and comprehensive approach to serving clients, mainly women, youth and children, with loans, credit and savings products, as well as training and providing financial education through a telenovela. Banco ADOPEM started off as an NGO in 1999 and became a formal bank in 2004.

In addition to the award for the best microfinance institutions, this year’s awards recognized institutions that created successful savings products for low income populations, including women, rural microentrepreneurs, and other underserved populations.

Banca Comunitaria BANESCO, a unit of a major Venezuelan commercial bank, won in the category of large institutions for promoting savings among unbanked population in low-income neighborhoods. BANESCO offers counseling and an easy-to-use branchless banking service. In the category of financial institutions with less than $1 billion in assets, Financiera COMULTRASAN from Bucaramanga, a regulated Credit Union in Colombia, won for its focus on providing flexible savings products and financial education and solutions adapted to the needs of low-income populations in rural areas.

In an effort to provide more economic opportunities for poor and low- income youth, the award for Excellence in Youth Entrepreneurship honored the Colectivo Integral de Desarrollo for its entrepreneurship training model “Make Your Business a Reality”. This innovative program promotes the development of skills and abilities needed to create and manage a business, providing an efficient response to young people’s demands.

Each of the winners will receive a special recognition from the Citi Foundation, one of the sponsors of the 2012 Foromic, which will provide certificates for specialized leadership training from Women’s World Banking, Red Financiera Rural, and the SEEP Network.

Excellence in Local Entrepreneurship

Besides sponsoring Foromic, Citi Foundation also sponsors the award for excellence in local entrepreneurship. This year’s award will recognize William Nathaniel Beckles, a Barbadian entrepreneur, who has successfully created the health club Little League Gym in Barbados that offers traditional fitness classes and state-of-the-art equipment, as well as a general merchandise store called Willimart. Finalists included the businesses Ez Learner and KOJM Enterprises.

Foromic and the Inter-American Awards for Microenterprise Development are organized by the IDB Group’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), the largest provider of technical assistance for private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

See the profiles of the winners

About the Multilateral Investment Fund

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, supports economic growth and poverty reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean through encouraging increased private investment and advancing private sector development. It works with the private sector to develop, finance, and execute innovative business models that benefit entrepreneurs and poor and low-income households; partners with a wide variety of institutions from the private, public and nonprofit sectors; evaluates results; and shares lessons learned. Once a year, the MIF organizes the Foromic, the leading forum for financing microenterprises, SMEs, and small farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

About Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment of individuals and families, particularly those in need, in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living. Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving on its priority focus areas: Microfinance and Microenterprise, Small and Growing Businesses, Education, and Financial Education and Asset Building. The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance and Microenterprise and Small and Growing Businesses to support environmental programs and innovations. Additional information can be found at www.citifoundation.com.