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BancoSol and IDB Invest Promote Businesses Led by Women Through the First Gender Bond in Bolivia


With IDB Invest’s support, BancoSol issued the first social gender bond in Bolivia for an amount of 205,800,000 bolivianos (equivalent to $30 million). The issuance took place in the Bolivian Stock Market, and IDB Invest provided a partial credit guarantee covering up to 50% of the issue capital.


Following the placement of the bond, the proceeds will go toward financing micro and small enterprises led by women (MSE Women) in Bolivia, with the goal of financing at least 4,500 MSE Women.


This is BancoSol’s first thematic bond issuance and the first for a private commercial bank in Bolivia. It is expected to incentivize more instruments with social and environmental impact in the capital market, as well as have a catalytic effect to promote sustainable finance in the country.


The project seeks to increase access to credit for MSEs in Bolivia, strengthening BancoSol's “Avanza Mujer” strategy for this segment, a program that has a differentiated value proposition, which promotes the inclusion and growth of businesses led by women. Additionally, the project seeks to encourage the growth of BancoSol's portfolio with underserved clients in the Amazon region, promoting social and rural development.


The project is supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-Fi). IDB Invest will provide BancoSol with advisory services and a monetary bonus of up to $200,000 subject to fulfilling objectives related to the growth of the SME Women portfolio, including rural areas and the Amazon region. It is the first time that We-Fi resources have been channeled into an IDB Invest blended financing project in Bolivia.


Likewise, IDB Invest supported BancoSol in the design of the methodological framework for the use of funds, which contains the selection, monitoring, and evaluation criteria for projects aligned with the Social Bond Principles of the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA). BancoSol obtained an independent verification of the methodological framework, known as a second-party opinion, issued by Pacific Corporate Sustainability.


“IDB Invest’s participation in the issuance of the first gender social bond in Bolivia confirms our commitment to financial inclusion and sustainable finance in the country,” said Marisela Alvarenga, Chief Investment Officer (a.i.) of IDB Invest. “BancoSol, the largest microfinance bank in Bolivia, is one of our strategic partners to achieve an impact at scale and reach in underserved populations, thus generating greater financial inclusion.” 


“We are proud that BancoSol is the first bank in Bolivia to be supported by IDB Invest for the issuance of gender-themed bonds in the country, which confirms the recognition of our work with financial inclusion and the economic empowerment of women. The resources obtained will allow us to expand access to financing for businesses led by Bolivian women, contributing to closing economic gaps and sustainable development,” said Verónica Gavilanes, Deputy General Manager of BancoSol. 


This deal, which marks a step forward for sustainable investments and the Bolivian Stock Market, contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities).


About IDB Invest

IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $21 billion in assets under management and 394 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.   


About BancoSol

In February 1992, BancoSol became the first commercial and regulated microfinance bank in the world, with the mission of providing opportunities for a better future to businessmen and women in the microbusiness sector, contributing to the reduction of poverty and contributing to sustainable development. Currently, it serves more than 1.3 million microbusiness entrepreneurs throughout the country. It also supports 373,673 entrepreneurs with loans for an amount that amounts to US$2.4 billion, of which 168,263 are women entrepreneurs who boosted their businesses through loans that reach $1.06 billion, which represents 43.4% of the bank's total portfolio. BancoSol has 1,455 service points in the nine departments of Bolivia.


About We-Fi

The Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-Fi) aims to unlock financing for women-owned or run businesses (Women SMEs) in developing countries. We-Fi partners include 14 donor governments, six multilateral development banks as implementing partners, and many other public and private sector stakeholders from around the world.