CABEI and UN Women sign agreement to promote women-led MSMEs

The US$1 million non-refundable contribution agreement will be added to the CABEI Guarantee Fund to ensure access to credit for women entrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Tegucigalpa, June 7, 2021 - In order to increase the financial inclusion of women in the face of the crisis generated by the pandemic, CABEI and UN Women (through the MELYT Program) signed a non-refundable financial contribution agreement for US$1 million.

The resources will be added to the Guarantee Fund created by CABEI in 2020 as a complementary financial instrument to cover credit risk for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). In this case, with special emphasis on guaranteeing access to credit for businesswomen economically affected by COVID-19, enabling them to restore their productive capacity, restoration and employment generation.

"This agreement is in line with our strategic pillar of gender equity, through which we support and promote programs and projects that favor equal opportunities and economic and social conditions in the population. Financial inclusion is a vitally important tool for women to face the difficulties we are currently experiencing, while at the same time contributing to the region's economic reactivation," said CABEI Executive President Dr. Dante Mossi.

"The figures show that companies managed or integrated mostly by women are more profitable. Unfortunately, it is these companies that receive less venture capital and less financing. This guarantee fund with CABEI aims to correct this historical injustice and ensure that companies led or integrated by women can make an effective contribution to society, but also to women's economic empowerment and, ultimately, to their independence," said María Noel Vaeza, UN Women's Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean.

The Guarantee Fund was created by CABEI within the framework of the Financial Sector Support Facility of the CABEI Emergency COVID-19 Support and Preparedness and Economic Reactivation Program and currently has resources of up to US$28.1 million, with contributions from CABEI for US$14.0 million and from the European Union under its Latin America Investment Facility (LAIF) for US$14.1 million.

UN Women, recognizing the importance of supporting businesswomen and entrepreneurs to overcome the economic impact of the pandemic, as well as to identify new business opportunities that may arise as a result of the pandemic, joins as a contributor to the Guarantee Fund with this contribution of US$1.0 million.

This agreement is part of CABEI's strategic alliances with the objective of reducing the gap in access to credit for women in the region, as well as promoting their financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

UN Women's Women, Local Economy and Territories (MELYT) program promotes the consolidation and expansion of territorial service platforms for women's entrepreneurship that provide financial and non-financial services through a multilevel implementation strategy and is financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

About CABEI

CABEI was created in 1960 as the financial branch of the region's integration and development. Its resources are continuously invested in projects with a development impact to reduce poverty and inequality, strengthen regional integration and the competitive insertion of its members in the global economy, with special attention to environmental sustainability. CABEI is headquartered in Tegucigalpa with offices throughout Central America.

CABEI's financial soundness as the best credit in Latin America is backed by its high credit rating granted by different international agencies: Standard & Poor's with a rating of AA, Moody's with a rating of Aa3, and Japan Credit Rating with AA.