Global Partnerships, a Seattle-based nonprofit that supports sustainable solutions to poverty, has announced that it has invested $4.5 million of a new $20 million social investment fund in six Latin American microfinance institutions and is on track to disburse all the fund's capital by the end of the year.
GP's Social Invesmtment Fund 2010 provides affordable loans to a select portfolio of MFIs that have met the organization's financial and social criteria. Although the MFIs receiving loans range in size and business model, they are similar in their focus on reaching people in underserved markets in Latin America and combining loans with "microfinance plus" services such as business education, health services, and agricultural training.
Three of the loan recipients are new to GP: COMIXMUL (Mixed Cooperative of United Women), a Honduran cooperative that provides women with microcredit and services such as financial education, trade skills training, and access to preventive health education; Crediflorida, a cooperative in central Peru that provides small-scale rural coffee farmers with credit at interest rates significantly lower than commercial alternatives, training in growing and diversifying crops, and access to higher-profit specialty markets; and FONDECO, which provides affordable financial services to rural farmers and women in Bolivia.
The other MFIs receiving loans are D-MIRO in Ecuador, FONDESURCO in Peru, and FRAC in Mexico. Together, the six MFIs serve 94,000 borrowers, 72 percent of whom live in rural areas and 63 percent of whom are women.
"We are delighted that our investors' capital is being put to work in organizations so committed to serving people living in poverty," said Mark Coffey, chief investment officer at GP. "Amid recent negative news about commercial microfinance in Asia, the exemplary work of these mission-focused microfinance organizations is worth highlighting."