Institutions from Bolivia, Brazil and Mexico Win Inter-American Awards for Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation

Winners to be honored during MIF/IDB Foromic conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, September 30

Bolivian microfinance institution Crecer, the green technology company Inventive Power from Mexico, and Brazilian private equity firm Stratus Group have won this year’s Inter-American Awards for Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation for their outstanding work in the areas of financial inclusion, green business and high impact investments in Latin America and the Caribbean, respectively.

The winners will be honored on September 30, during the inauguration of the XVI Foromic, the Latin American and Caribbean region’s leading event for supporting and financing microenterprises, SMEs, and small farmers. Foromic will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico, from September 30 to October 2. Foromic is organized annually by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno are scheduled to attend the event’s inauguration and will participate in the presentation of the awards to the winners.

The 2013 Financial Inclusion Award, recognizing an innovative and efficient financial institution that provides financial services to poor and low-income populations. The winning institution was Crecer, a Bolivian non-profit that caters primarily to poor women living in rural communities. Created in 1990, it has grown to become one of the microfinance institutions with greatest reach in the region, with village banking products, individual credit, and recently, agricultural credit, complemented by education services. It stands out for its continuous research efforts to measure the effect of their services to their clients.

Honorary mentions were granted to Pichincha Microfinance of Banco del Pichincha in Ecuador and Banco Estado Microempresa S.A. in Chile for their well-developed programs to provide financial products and services to poor and low-income populations.

Inventive Power, a dynamic green technology company from Mexico, won the first ever Green Business Award. Inventive Power has developed innovative solar energy solutions, such as solar technology that generates thermal energy in the form of hot water and steam for SME-scaled industrial and commercial applications. Inventive Power provides solutions for businesses in manufacturing, installation and maintenance, and, via a third party partner, even in financing of its technologies. Recently, the company has experienced triple digit growth rates.

The 2013 High Impact Fund Manager Award recognizes the private equity firm Stratus Group from Brazil. Founded in 1999, the Stratus Group is a pioneer in the development of a concrete path for SMEs into the Brazilian capital market. It was also the first Brazilian private equity firm to become a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, and has developed a portfolio of investments with high sustainability impact.

The winners of the Inter-American Awards for Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation will receive prizes funded by the Citi Foundation, one of the sponsors of the 2013 Foromic. The Citi Foundation will provide the awards winning institutions with the opportunity to participate in specialized leadership training workshops to further improve their operations, as well as cash prizes for the Local and Green Business awardees.

Excellence and Sustainability of Mexican Microenterprise

The local award for excellence and sustainability in Mexican microenterprise recognizes the important role microentrepreneurs play, not only in supporting their own families, but also in contributing to the economic sustainability of their communities. This year’s award will recognize NOXTLI, a growing cooperative that has been working in farming and agriculture, promoting a philosophy of self-sustainability and generating jobs, mainly for migrants to the United States. Finalists included the businesses Café y Avena Nancy and Labradores de Cantera Degollado, Jal. S.C. de R.L. de C.V. The award is sponsored by the Citi Foundation.

Foromic and the Inter-American Awards for Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation 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.