CABEI and UN Women sign agreement to promote women-led MIPYMES


The US$1 million non-refundable contribution agreement will be added to the CABEI Guarantee Fund to ensure access to credit for women entrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tegucigalpa, June 4, 2021 - In order to increase the financial inclusion of women in the face of the crisis generated by the pandemic, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and UN Women, through the Women, Local Economy and Territories Program (MELYT), financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), signed a non-refundable financial contribution agreement for US$1 million.

The resources will be added to the Guarantee Fund created by CABEI in 2020 as a complementary financial instrument to cover credit risk for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MIPYMES). In this case, with special emphasis on guaranteeing access to credit for businesswomen economically affected by COVID-19, enabling them to restore their productive capacities, recovery and employment generation.

"This agreement is in line with our gender equity strategic axis, through which we support and promote programs and projects that favor equal opportunities and economic and social conditions in the population. Financial inclusion is a vitally important tool for women to face the difficulties we are currently experiencing, while at the same time contributing to the region's economic reactivation," said CABEI Executive President Dr. Dante Mossi.

Meanwhile, UN Women noted: "Women-led or women-owned businesses are the ones that receive the least venture capital and financing.  We still have a significant gap in the region in terms of women's access to credit and financial support to improve their businesses. This guarantee fund that we at UN Women have promoted with CABEI and AICS aims to correct this historical injustice and ensure that companies led or integrated by women can make an effective contribution to society, but also to the economic empowerment of women and, ultimately, to their autonomy.”

The Guarantee Fund was created by CABEI within the Financial Sector Support Facility framework as one of the components of CABEI's "COVID-19 Emergency Support and Preparedness and Economic Reactivation Program" and currently has resources of up to US$28.1 million, with contributions of US$14.0 million from CABEI and US$14.1 million from the European Union within its Latin American Investment Facility (LAIF) framework.

UN Women, through AICS, recognizing the importance of supporting businesswomen and entrepreneurs to overcome the pandemic's economic impact, as well as to identify new business opportunities that may arise as a result of the pandemic, joins the Guarantee Fund as a contributor with this contribution of US$1.0 million.

This agreement is part of CABEI's strategic alliances with the objective of reducing the gap in access to credit for women in the region, as well as promoting their financial inclusion and economic empowerment.