Global Partnerships Makes First Investments In Colombia
Seattle, Wash., – Global Partnerships (GP), a nonprofit social investor based in Seattle, Washington, and Managua Nicaragua, announced today that it has made its first loans to two partner organizations based in Colombia: Fundación Amanecer and Contactar. With the addition of these two partners to its portfolio, GP is supporting the work of 33 microfinance organizations and cooperatives in eight countries in Latin America, including Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.
“By investing in the innovative work of Fundación Amanecer and Contactar, we are helping poor and underserved populations in Colombia access critical services to help them earn a living and improve their lives,” said Mark Coffey, Chief Investment Officer of Global Partnerships. “We are excited to help these organizations increase their impact in Colombia, which is one of the most populous countries in Latin America and which faces unique challenges in fighting poverty.”
In late August, 2011, Global Partnerships made its first loan to a Colombian partner, $1 million to Fundación Amanecer, a small, growing microfinance institution (MFI) that is helping jump-start a more diverse economy in Orinoquía, a region of central-east Colombia that has been heavily dependent on the petroleum industry.
Fundación Amanecer, a nonprofit, serves 4,200 people with a combination of microloans and micro-entrepreneurship education to help its clients boost their skills and income. For example, it offers a curriculum in computer literacy, technical assistance for farmers and job-skills training in fields such as clothing manufacturing, shoemaking, baking and carpentry.
In late September, GP disbursed $1.5 million to a second Colombian partner, Contactar, an established nonprofit microfinance organization in southwest Colombia that is one of the few MFIs in the country to focus on rural clients. Eighty-five percent of Contactar’s 13,500 clients are rural; the majority of clients work in agricultural enterprises. In addition to microcredit, Contactar has begun to offer its clients access to financial education, savings accounts and basic dental services for their children.
The loans were made by Global Partnerships’ Social Investment Fund 2010 (SIF 2010), a five-year, $25 million debt fund that provides affordable loans to a select portfolio of microfinance organizations and cooperatives. GP’s partners range in size and business model, but are similar in their focus on reaching people in need and providing not just microcredit but services such as business education, health services and agricultural technical assistance. SIF 2010 requires that 75 percent of organizations that it funds offer such “microfinance-plus” services.
SIF 2010 has disbursed a total of $20.25 million in loans to 20 organizations since the fund was closed in September, 2010, including 12 new partners to Global Partnerships.
About Global Partnerships:Founded in 1994, Global Partnerships (GP) is a nonprofit social investor based in Seattle, Washington, and Managua, Nicaragua, whose mission is to expand opportunity for people living in poverty. GP invests in and develops sustainable solutions to help impoverished people in Latin America earn a living and improve their lives, including microcredit, basic health care, business education, technical assistance for farmers and green technology. Find out more at www.globalpartnerships.org.