Gender Smart | June 24, 2024

BancoSol floats $30 million gender bond in Bolivia

Lucy Ngige
Guest Author

Lucy Ngige

Microfinance lender BancoSol issued a $30 million gender bond on the on the Bolivian Stock Exchange. It is the first gender bond in the South American country. IDB Invest has guaranteed 50% of the AAA-rated issuance.

Proceeds will support BancoSol’s Avanza Mujer program, which aims to reach more than 4,500 women-led enterprises, including underserved and rural borrowers in Bolivia’s Amazon region. More than half of Bolivia’s female entrepreneurs face limited or no access to credit.

As the largest Bolivian microfinance institution, BancoSol could “achieve impact at scale” and generate greater financial inclusion” said Marisela Alvarenga of IDB Invest, which will offer an extra $200,000 if the bank meets its portfolio objectives (see related, “With incentives, Roots of Impact helps companies link impact and finance“)

Gender bonds are becoming a preferred strategy for ushering capital to underserved women in emerging markets. IDB Invest has supported the first gender bonds in Panama, Ecuador and Colombia. Pro Mujer has issued several listed gender bonds in Argentina. IIX in Singapore has been key to proving the market: it has raised more than $230 million since 2017 through its Women’s LIvelihood Bond series.