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Women entrepreneurship, rural development among key topics during Foromic in Costa Rica

Foromic to be broadcast live over the Internet from October 10–12

Overcoming the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and successful experiences to increase financial services in rural areas are among the key topics of this year’s XIV Inter-American Microenterprise Forum (Foromic 2011), the most important annual microfinance and microenterprise development event in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Forum, taking place in San José, Costa Rica, will be opened by IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and broadcast live over the Internet from October 10–12. Participants will be able to watch several seminars and presentations by simply accessing the following links: English Webcast or Spanish Webcast.

On October 12, Foromic will host the global launch of the 2011 Global Microscope, a report prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which will rank the microfinance business environment for 55 countries, including 21 countries for Latin America and the Caribbean.

More than 1,200 participants from financial and microfinance institutions, associations of microentrepreneurs, government agencies, universities, NGOs, and international organizations working in the sector are expected to attend the event. Foromic is being organized by the IDB's Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), in collaboration with Costa Rica’s Ministry for Economy, Industry, and Trade and the Ministry of Finance.

The conference will discuss experiences and solutions to overcome barriers of women-owned enterprises to access financing in both small and growing businesses. International experts will talk about how to improve access to financial services such as innovations in savings specifically in the rural areas, and how to tackle over-indeptedness and create a culture of responsible finance, key issues to the microfinance industry.

Other topics crucial to the industry are financial services and partnerships to establish inclusive value chains in agricultural markets, business models to finance basic services, mobile banking and payments, clean energy and green finance, micro-franchising, and youth and entrepreneurship, among others.

During the event’s inauguration, the MIF will also deliver this year’s Inter-American Awards for Microenterprise Development. Banco FIE S.A. of Bolivia, FFM Popayán, a non-governmental organization from Colombia, and CABEXSE, a Bolivian export association, have won this year’s awards for their excellence in providing support to microenterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Also during the inauguration, Citi Foundation, which sponsors Foromic, will announce the winner of the award for excellence in local entrepreneurship, which this year will recognize a Costa Rican entrepreneur, who not only has shown an entrepreneurial spirit and managed to grow her business but is also committed to community development.

MIF, a member of the IDB Group, is the largest provider of grants for private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since its founding in 1993, MIF has been a major supporter of microfinance and microenterprise development in the region.

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