What do the world’s poor people need? Money is one simple answer, but money alone is often not enough to support long-term solutions to put individuals and communities on the path to prosperity. Seattle-based Global Partnerships is one OPIC client that has successfully combined microfinance lending with additional non-financial services such as education, training and healthcare to poor communities in Latin America and the Caribbean by partnering with local microfinance lenders and other community groups.
Global Partnerships was founded in 1994 with a mission of investing in sustainable solutions that help people earn a living and improve their lives. OPIC entered into its most recent agreement with Global Partnerships in December 2012, lending the fund manager $15 million for the Global Partnerships Social Investment Fund 5.0. OPIC has lent to four of its past five funds, including one which has matured and been repaid in full. As is outlined in this project profile, the 5.0 fund will support lending in four key areas: health services, rural livelihoods, green technology and microentrepreneurship.
Global Partnership’s investments have served 1.1 million people in 10 countries, more than half who live in rural areas. Approximately three-quarters of its borrowers are women. OPIC’s and Global Partnerships’ extensive experience investing in Latin America helps draw in additional investors, including high net worth individual investors and foundations looking to generate financial and social returns.
In previous investments, Global Partnerships has successfully supported the four impact areas through investments like the following:
- ESPOIR, a microfinance institution in Ecuador, which provides microenterprise credit along with basic health education and financial literacy to women. Women gather at monthly client meetings where they pay their bills and receive health education classes and discounted healthcare products and services.
- Crediflorida, a 6,000 member fair trade coffee cooperative in Peru that gives members access to technical assistance on topics such as farm administration, health education as well as access to credit.
- Fondo de Desarrollo Local, a microfinance institution in Nicaragua that provides financing with flexible repayment terms, so families located off the main electrical grid can buy solar panels and related products to power their homes and farms.
To learn more about OPIC’s work with Global Partnerships, click here.