Inter-American Foundation (IAF) President and CEO Paloma Adams-Allen launched the IAF’s first-ever impact investment in Empresa para el Desarrollo (EDESA) in Costa Rica on January 29. The $1.5 million impact investment will allow EDESA, a microfinance lender owned by approximately 70 community credit associations, to extend access to credit to an additional 3,500 small and micro enterprises in Costa Rica and Panama.
The lack of affordable credit in Central America has long been an obstacle to increasing revenue for small community businesses. This initiative builds on more than a decade of partnership between the two organizations, during which the IAF supported EDESA in developing its Panamanian affiliate, and will allow the microcredit lender to leverage significant additional loan funds from financial institutions in Costa Rica and Panama. This innovative impact investment supports the IAF’s commitment to expanding economic opportunities for resource-poor communities in Central America by leveraging community and private resources through matching funds and public-private partnerships. Over the course of the next eight years, the IAF expects to recoup its investment, which can be re-invested in future community-led programs.
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