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IDB Invest and Banco BHD Promote Women-led MSMEs in the Dominican Republic

IDB Invest announced a $75 million-subordinated loan to Banco BHD with a tenor of up to seven years. The financing will support micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) led or owned by women in the Dominican Republic to increase access to credit through loans in Dominican pesos.


Currently there are around 1.5 million MSMEs in the Dominican Republic, which represents 98% of all companies in the country. These employ 65% of the workforce, contributing to 40% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Additionally, MSMEs in the Dominican Republic exhibit an evident gender gap, and with regard to financial inclusion, the proportion of Dominican women who declared having received a loan in the last 12 months was 22% lower than that of men. 


Banco BHD has positioned itself as a benchmark in the region in serving businesswomen, closing gender gaps in access to financing and promoting gender equality at the corporate level. In this context, IDB Invest and Banco BHD have committed to act as promoters of the Financing Code for Women Entrepreneurs, or WeFinance Code, an initiative that will be led by Dominican Republic’s private sector to scale up the use of sex-disaggregated data and catalyze actions within the financial ecosystem that support women MSMEs.


The WeFinance Code is powered by the Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-Fi), a partnership that aims to unlock financing for female entrepreneurs. Banco BHD will receive technical advice from IDB Invest related to the WeFinance Code, addressing the digitization, capture and use of data to segment and adapt the financial offering to businesswomen; the preparation of a market study focused on defining a differentiated value proposition for the growth of the business of rural and urban entrepreneurs; and the application of the unconscious bias tool in Banco BHD's credit approval processes, to identify and mitigate possible biases that are unfavorable to businesswomen.


Through technical advice, we will seek to automate and increase the use of data to scale Banco BHD's value proposition for MSMEs led or owned by women, and to achieve a catalytic effect of knowledge with other financial entities and interested parties in the Dominican Republic, so that others can join in developing and strengthening their value offering for the benefit of the women-led MSMEs.


The project is expected to contribute to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in addition to being part of the Responsible Banking Principles implemented by the BHD: Gender Equality (SDG 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9) and Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10).


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 $16.3 billion in assets under management and over 390 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 BHD

Banco BHD was founded on July 24, 1972 and known as Banco Hipotecario Dominicano, the first of its kind in the Dominican Republic. Through more than five decades of history, it has been a pioneer in the local financial sector: from being the first multiple bank in the Dominican Republic to being a pioneer in the implementation of a corporate governance model. Its avant-garde vision placed it as the national financial entity with the greatest international support. Likewise, its policy of alliances, mergers and acquisitions has led it to become the second private capital financial entity in the country. More information at