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OPIC Backs Asset Manager Deetken Impact and Mission-Driven Company Pro Mujer to Empower Women in Latin America


June 4, 2019

Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer team up to invest in women and girls, delivering strong financial returns and meaningful, measurable social and environmental benefits. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation has committed $10 million to grow the fund.

VANCOUVER, Canada – Pro Mujer and Deetken Impact have formed a joint venture to manage the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund. This fund invests in a diversified portfolio of high-impact businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean that promote women in leadership and governance, products and services that meet the needs of women and girls, gender-sensitive value chains, and workplace equity.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has committed U.S. $10 million of senior debt financing to the fund. OPIC’s investment will advance its 2X Women’s Initiative, which has catalyzed more than $1 billion in capital to empower women in developing countries around the world.

“Women in Latin America face steep barriers to full economic empowerment. By partnering with Pro Mujer and Deetken to expand access to products and services that empower low-income women like financial services and housing, OPIC will help equip women with the tools they need to transform their communities,” said Kathryn Kaufman, OPIC Managing Director for Global Women’s Issues.

Pro Mujer and Deetken Impact believe that investing in women is both a smart business strategy and a powerful driver of economic growth and equality. Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund is a senior and subordinated debt fund whose portfolio investments include financial institutions that provide integrated and thoughtfully designed services for low-income women. These include access to healthcare, educational loans, financial services, technical assistance, and gender-smart investments in renewable energy, affordable housing, and social enterprises.

"Advancing gender equality means collaborating across private, public and philanthropic sectors. By partnering with Pro Mujer, we are integrating decades of experience serving women and girls in Latin America into investment decision-making. We welcome OPIC’s participation and value their commitment to inspiring other investors to take up the 2X Challenge,” commented Alexa Blain, Managing Partner of Deetken Impact. 

The target fund size is $35 million, with $25 million already committed and $14 million deployed. After successfully closing the first fundraising round from catalytic investors, including OPIC, Canadian foundations, and credit unions, Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer are planning a second round to raise another $10 million.

Maria Cavalcanti, Pro Mujer's President and CEO, noted, “We’ve seen what women in Latin America can accomplish with the right resources. They build stronger lives, families and communities, and create opportunities for other women. We are very excited for this partnership with Deetken Impact, and for the commitment of OPIC towards ensuring the Ilu Women's Empowerment Fund positively impacts women’s lives and the way businesses and investors commit to gender equal practices.”

Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer are mutually committed to supporting women’s empowerment through all their business activities and investment management practices.

Learn more about the Ilu Women’s Empowerment fund on the Deetken Impact’s website: https://www.deetkenimpact.com/women-empowerment

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About Deetken Impact
Deetken Impact is a Canadian registered investment fund manager with a 10-year track record of delivering strong, stable returns to investors by supporting businesses that make a meaningful contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. Deetken currently manages and co-manages close to $100MM in impact assets, primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean. Deetken Impact is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and a certified B Corporation. For more information, visit: https://deetkenimpact.com/ or follow on Twitter @DeetkenImpact

About Pro Mujer
Founded in 1990, Pro Mujer is a mission-driven organization whose mandate is to become a large scale, sustainable platform that delivers relevant and transformative resources and tools to underserved women in Latin America throughout their life cycle. Pro Mujer currently provides financial, health and educational services, operating across six countries in Latin America, including Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Argentina. For more information, visit: https://www.promujer.org or follow on Twitter @promujer

About OPIC
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.

OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States. For more information, visit https://www.opic.gov or follow on Twitter @opicgov