The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed letters of intent to provide financing to MAS Equity Fund IV and Altra Fund III, two Colombian private sector investment funds that will apply a gender lens to their investments.
(Press Release) David Bohigian, Acting President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and Luis Alberto Moreno, President of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), today joined Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and President of Colombia Ivan Duque to announce letters of intent to provide financing to MAS Equity Fund IV and Altra Fund III, two Colombian private sector investment funds that will apply a gender lens to their investments.
The projects would mark two of the first commitments under Fund Mujer, an alliance launched by OPIC and IDB Invest to advance gender-focused investment strategies in Latin America. Announced at the W20 in Buenos Aires in October 2018, Fund Mujer aims to narrow the female credit gap in Latin America and represents the first gender-lens fund in the region.
While small and medium enterprises make up a majority of the private sector in Latin America, these businesses—particularly those owned by women—face steep barriers to accessing credit. MAS Equity Fund IV and Altra Fund III will address this challenge by investing in businesses owned by, led by, or supporting women in the region. Both projects are subject to OPIC and IDB Invest’s comprehensive review and approval processes before they are finalized.
“Investing with a gender lens is more than just the right thing to do—it’s also a smart business decision,” said Bohigian. “OPIC is proud to partner with IDB Invest through Fund Mujer and advance gender-focused investment strategies that support the Administration’s efforts to empower women globally.”
“Closing the gender credit gap is critical to creating economic opportunities and new sources of growth in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Moreno. “Our partnership with OPIC will enable us to bring more private sector investors into this effort.”
Today’s announcement advances the mission of 2X Americas, which falls under OPIC’s broader 2X Women’s Initiative—a key component of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative. Through 2X, OPIC aims to support investment in businesses and funds owned by, led by, or providing a product or service that empowers women.
IDB Invest launched women entrepreneurshipBanking (weB) in 2012. Since then, this program has worked with more than 20 financing intermediaries (banks, bonds issuers, and funds) to finance women-led businesses.
Advisor Trump is leading an official U.S. delegation to South America that includes Bohigian, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, and USAID Administrator Mark Green to advance W-GDP. The delegation will continue to Argentina and Paraguay.