Citi Bank granted a $6 million loan equivalent in local currency to the fintech company Sempli, which provides working capital financing to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Colombia.
This is the first financing that Sempli has received from an international commercial bank, of which 40% of the proceeds will be used to support women-led businesses.
The loan was structured within the Scaling Enterprise program, supported by the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Ford Foundation, with the aim of promoting companies with a high social impact.
“During Citi’s more than 100 years of operation in Colombia, the bank’s mission has focused on facilitating the progress and economic growth of the communities we serve. We are proud to close this financing, which favors the financial inclusion of thousands of microentrepreneurs who lack formal support and who play a critical role in the livelihoods of their families and environment,” said Elizabeth Rey, president of Citi in Colombia.
Read more about the loan granted by Citi to Colombian fintech company Sempli, and find the latest financial news of the day with the Born2Invest mobile app.
The credit granted by Citi was given in partnership with high-impact investors and multilateral development organizations
They all seek to expand access to credit in low- and middle-income countries.
“Citi’s Social Finance strategy is aimed at reaching 15 million people, 10 million of whom are women, to expand their opportunities to access financing that will enable them to develop their businesses, promote their empowerment, and maximize their multiplier effect in their communities,” added Borja Garcia, head of structuring for Latin America and the Caribbean for Citi Social Finance.
This loan to the fintech company is part of Citi’s plan to provide $1 billion in sustainable financing over the next six years.
According to Citi, this capital injection contributes to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including 1) Goal 1 – End poverty; 2) Goal 5 – Gender equality; and 3) Goal 8 – Decent work and economic growth. In support of Goal 5, Sempli has worked with Usaid to launch the credit line called “Women Entrepreneurs”.
“We at Sempli are delighted to deepen our partnership with Citi. Through this loan we will be able to continue supporting the responsible growth of thousands of entrepreneurs in our country and with a special lens on women entrepreneurs who lead and own their businesses. This financing gives us the confidence to continue growing our platform. We aim to strengthen the financial health of our clients through term loans for growth purposes and payment solutions to bring working capital to that segment,” explained Esteban Velasco, CEO and co-founder of Sempli.
“DFC is proud to support greater access to capital for small businesses in Colombia that face barriers to financing, especially businesses that are owned and run by women. DFC’s work to help expand economic inclusion to underserved communities and promote women’s economic empowerment is a critical component of our mission,” said James Polan, vice president of DFC’s Development Credit Office.
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First published in LR LA REPUBLICA. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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