Economy January 8, 2024 | 2:47 pm

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IDB Invest grants $75 Million loan to Banco BHD to empower women entrepreneurs

Santo Domingo.- IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, has announced a significant initiative to bolster the economic empowerment of women in the Dominican Republic. A subordinated loan of $75 million, extendable up to seven years, will be provided to Banco BHD. This strategic funding aims to enhance credit access for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) led or owned by women, through loans in Dominican pesos.

With about 1.5 million MSMEs, constituting 98% of all Dominican businesses and employing 65% of the workforce, these enterprises are crucial to the country’s economy. However, a notable gender gap in financial inclusion persists, as evidenced by a 22% lower loan reception rate for women compared to men over the last year.

Banco BHD, recognized for addressing gender gaps in financing, collaborates with IDB Invest to promote the WeFinance Code, a private sector-led initiative in the Dominican Republic. This initiative aims to utilize sex-disaggregated data to enhance support within the financial ecosystem for women’s MSME segment.

The WeFinance Code, supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-Fi), focuses on unlocking financing for female entrepreneurs. Banco BHD will receive IDB Invest’s technical advice on digitizing and utilizing data for tailoring financial offers to businesswomen. This includes conducting market studies for rural and urban entrepreneurs and applying tools to mitigate unconscious bias in credit processes.

This collaboration aims to automate and scale Banco BHD’s offerings for women-led MSMEs, catalyzing knowledge transfer among financial entities and stakeholders in the Dominican Republic. The project aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly focusing on gender equality, economic growth, innovation, and reducing inequalities.

About IDB Invest:
IDB Invest, part of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank dedicated to promoting economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. It supports sustainable companies and projects for financial success and broad economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $16.33 billion and serving 394 clients across 25 countries, IDB Invest offers innovative financial solutions and advisory services across various sectors.

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