Our Aequitas impact fund issues its first investment
Support post-COVID economic recovery, promote the financial inclusion of rural women and better meet the needs of agro-entrepreneurs: this is the impact of our USD1 million investment in the inclusive finance institution Microfinanciera FUNDESER in Nicaragua. This is the first investment made by the new Aequitas impact fund that was initiated by DID.
“FUNDESER, a long-standing partner, embodies the values advocated by the Aequitas fund: a strong social impact coupled with good financial soundness, rigorous governance and a concrete commitment to gender equality and economic empowerment of entrepreneurs” explained Robert Cheberiak, Director of Investments at DID.
FUNDESER: an institution with deep rural roots
In operation since 2000, FUNDESER mainly serves rural populations working in the trade, services, production, agriculture and livestock sectors. FUNDESER serves more than 13,000 entrepreneurs, 53% of whom are women. It manages a portfolio of USD38 million through a network of 18 branches across the country.
A self-motivated entrepreneur, Teresa de Jesús Chavarría lives in the San Ignacio neighbourhood of Managua. She owns a pulp mill that she has been operating successfully for 32 years and offers her customers a wide range of products. A FUNDESER client since 2013, she took out a dozen loans during this period without ever being late on payments. Thanks to this funding, she was able to start farming and selling pork and chicken, in addition to making improvements to her house. Her income allowed her to raise her children and provide them with the education needed to pursue a career. Today, one of her daughters is a FUNDESER client.
José Francisco Matus Tercero, a cattle farmer, has been a client of FUNDESER since 2006. He took out 16 loans during this period, ranging from USD1,000 to over USD8,000. Thanks to the funding he received, he was able to improve his livestock’s food and genetics, purchase new equipment and make improvements to his corral infrastructure. FUNDESER provided essential financial support to develop his agribusiness, and its success has earned it recognition throughout the community for its leadership and sound financial management.
With initial funding of CAD50 million, the Aequitas fund was created to promote gender equality, climate action and the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the financial inclusion of disadvantaged populations. Aequitas resources are directed where they are likely to have the greatest possible impact—to support small institutions, particularly those in geographical areas that are poorly served, that focus on the sustainable inclusion and economic empowerment of women, youth, entrepreneurs and smallholders.