Fundeser

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Fundación para el Desarrollo Socio-Económico Rural (“Fundeser”) is a Non-Governmental Organization (“NGO”) registered since 2000 in Managua. It was originally launched in 1997, as a small-holders/farmers credit and technical assistance program supported by CARITAS.

The institution aims at becoming a specialist of the rural microenterprise sector at the national level. Fundeser works towards making its rural network - of 19 branches - reference centers for the rural population. Providing financial services to low-income rural entrepreneurs is the sole mission of the institution. To do so, Fundeser offers a wide range of tailored-made products. The vast majority of the loan portfolio is focused on the agricultural sector and commerce. Furthermore, Fundeser has a clear focus on women, with 50% of active borrowers being women.

BIO’s financing allows the growth of a genuine rural microfinance institution in Nicaragua, allowing the institution to further support micro- and small entrepreneurs and finance its rural expansion. Therefore, BIO contributes to improving access of rural micro-entrepreneurs and small farmers to financing, hence stimulating economic growth and job creation in rural areas.

BIO’s investment is a clear sign to the international investors to regain trust in the MFI sector in Nicaragua after the “No Pago” crisis in 2009: the microfinance sector in Nicaragua was booming when in 2008 the global financial crisis hit. This originated an abrupt decline in remittances, which quickly led to repayment problems as clients were over indebted. As the economy deteriorated, the microfinance industry was further affected by a political and social movement of delinquent borrowers known as the “No Pago” (No Payment) movement. In this context MFIs and banks, needed to reschedule and restructure loans, and some of the MFIs went bankrupt. International funders grew nervous about the country risk and massively and abruptly retrieved their investments causing further trouble in the sector. After 3 years, signs of improvement are arising. The worst impacts of the crisis have been overcome and there is a positive outlook for the future of the microfinance industry in Nicaragua. Lessons have been learnt from the crisis, the MFIs now focus on sustainable growth through a balance in their growth objectives and the use of credit information bureaus to improve credit risk management and manage multiple borrowing. Furthermore, government has committed to the recovery of the microfinance sector, taking the sector as an ally in its fight against poverty. New microfinance law closes any space for the non-payment movement to maneuver, and the government is putting its best efforts to regulate and supervise the Microfinance Sector through the creation of a new organism CONAMI.

Fundeser has committed towards client protection and over-indebtedness (Smart Campaign) with a good social performance. www.smartcampaign.org

The institution is currently in the process of transforming into a regulated financial institution (“financiera”) with as main shareholders: Fundeser NGO, ASN Novib Microkredietfonds (Triple Jump), KCD Mikrofinanzfonds (Bank Im Bistum) and RIF II (Incofin IM).

Development impact:

  • Local economic growth: BIO’s financing would allow the growth of a rural microfinance institution in Nicaragua, permitting the institution to further support micro- and small entrepreneurs and finance its rural expansion.
  • Private sector consolidation/innovation: Fundeser has a clear competitive advantage which translates into tailored made products.
  • Financial inclusion: improve access to financing for rural micro-entrepreneurs and small farmers
  • Food security and rural development: The vast majority of the loan portfolio is focused on the agricultural sector (50,9%) and commerce (36,6%). Fundeser works towards making its rural network - of 19 branches - reference centers for the rural population.

Website: www.fundeser.org.ni

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