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IDB promotes socially inclusive businesses

At a conference on the base of the pyramid market held in Medellin 

MEDELLIN, Colombia – Latin America and the Caribbean’s 400 million people-strong, modest income majority has a collective purchasing power of $500 billion a year, said Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno today at a conference on the region’s base of the pyramid market. 

In his remarks at the opening of the II BASE Forum, Moreno urged private sector companies to support the development of this market, which comprises two thirds of the region’s population. 

"Thanks to the good performance of our economies in recent years, many of the people at the base of the pyramid have risen above the poverty line," he said. "However, they still face serious problems in meeting their basic needs and aspirations for a better life." 

The IDB in 2007 launched the Opportunities for the Majority initiative to find innovative solutions to these challenges.Since then, working with partners in the private, public, and social sectors, the Bank has funded 45 projects totaling $250 million, which leveraged an additional $1 billion in investments. 

These projects have used socially inclusive business models to generate some 41,000 jobs, extend credit to more than 220,000 microentrepreneurs, and provide additional income for about 1.5 million people in rural areas. 

More than 1,300 participants registered to attend the II BASE Forum. Over the course of the week, more than 90 panelists will address topics such as the participation of private enterprises in the base of the pyramid market, alternative financial solutions, and emerging business models. 

During the event the IDB announced it will provide up to $6 million in financing to support a home leasing program to be carried out by Comfama, a Colombian social enterprise. Under the program, low-income families will be able to buy homes without making down payments or obtaining mortgage loans. The program’s pilot phase will benefit about 1,400 families. 

About Opportunities for the Majority 

Opportunities for the Majority promotes and finances market-based, sustainable business models that bring together companies, local governments, and communities in developing and supplying quality products and services to people at the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean.