March 27, 2023
On March 22, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with Banco Improsa in the Republic of Costa Rica through the Private Sector Investment Finance for US$ 15million to finance micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Costa Rica.
MSMEs are an important base of Costa Rica's social economy, accounting for 97.5% of the country's private enterprises and 34% of total employment. With an unemployment rate close to 12% in Costa Rica, the promotion of MSME businesses is a highly relevant issue, since they contribute to the generation of employment. On the other hand, it is estimated that more than 40% of MSMEs in Costa Rica do not have sufficient access to formal sources of business financing and resort to consumer entities accepting high interest rates that jeopardize the sustainability of their businesses.
Banco Improsa positions financing to MSMEs as its core business, providing short and long-term financial solutions that meet the needs of enterprises, supporting them in their growth as a strategic partner. 30% of the JICA loans under this project will be used to finance women-owned enterprises.
The loan aims to contribute to sustainable industrial development in Costa Rica by improving access to finance for MSMEs, thereby contributing to Sustainable Development Goals(*) in terms of gender equality, improving access to financial service, promoting industrialization by expanding access to finance for small businesses, and community partnership to achieve the proposed results.
(*) Sequence SDG focus: Goal 5 - Gender equality, Goal 8 - Improve access to financial services, Goal 9 - Promote industrialization by expanding access to finance for small businesses, and Goal 17 - Partnerships for the goals.