Nothing like $4.5 million in funding to give the Latin American microfinance industry a boost. From Global Partnerships:

$4.5 Million for Excellence in Microfinance
Global Partnerships’ Social Investment Fund 2010 makes first loans to six partners

Seattle, Wash., – Global Partnerships (GP), a 16-year-old nonprofit that supports microfinance and other sustainable solutions to poverty, announced today that it has invested $4.5 million of its new $20 million social investment fund in six outstanding microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Latin America. Three of the partners are new to GP.

“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, Global Partnerships’ chief investment officer. “Amid recent negative news about commercial microfinance in Asia, the exemplary work of these mission-focused microfinance organizations is worth highlighting.”

The Global Partnerships fund, Social Investment Fund 2010 (SIF 2010) is a five-year debt fund that provides affordable loans to a select portfolio of MFIs that have met GP’s rigorous financial and social criteria. The MFIs being funded range in size and business model, but 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.

For example, COMIXMUL (Mixed Cooperative of United Women) is a cooperative in Honduras that serves more than 11,000 women with microcredit and services including financial education, training on specific trade skills like baking and access to preventive health education. COMIXMUL was started in 1986 by a group of 12 women market vendors who could not access capital from traditional banks.

Crediflorida is a cooperative in central Peru that provides rural, small-scale coffee farmers with credit at interest rates significantly lower than commercial alternatives. It also offers clients training in growing and diversifying crops and access to higher-profit specialty markets.

Other microfinance organizations that have received loans from SIF 2010 as of December 31, 2010, include D-MIRO in Ecuador, FONDECO in Bolivia (another new partner), FONDESURCO in Peru, and FRAC in Mexico (GP’s second loan to Mexico). Together, these MFIs serve 94,000 borrowers, 72 percent of whom live in rural areas and 63 percent of whom are women. GP is on track to disburse all of the fund’s capital by the end of 2011.

About Global Partnerships: Global Partnerships (GP) is a Seattle- and Managua-based nonprofit that expands opportunity for people living in poverty. As of December 31, 2010, GP had $37.9 million in capital invested in 27 microfinance partners, which serve 874,000 borrowers. Find out more at

About Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is a travel addict and founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate.