Norfund invests $ 20 million to provide microloans for Guatemalan entrepreneurs

June 4, 2024

Guatemala faces one of the highest poverty and inequality rates in the region, with a 55.1 percent poverty rate. As Guatemala strives for economic stability and social progress, access to finance is needed to grow businesses that create jobs.

“Apart from the financial strength of the entity, what most moved me about Genesis was the development journey it seeks for each of its clients, most of which are from the base of the income pyramid. It begins with examining how well they and their family are in terms of basic needs before moving them towards loans for their micro businesses or offers a mix of funding to achieve both sets of objectives,” says Heidi Achong, Investment Director in Norfund.

The current client base of Génesis is more than 340,000 people, of whom 72% are women and 76% reside in rural areas.

“I was impressed to see how prepared their sales force is to assess their clients’ needs, in rural areas. Even integrating sales staff and financial education programs in indigenous languages. In Guatemala there are greater than 23 of these languages,” says Heidi Achong.

Génesis provides financial access, but also tailored guidance and training, empowering entrepreneurs to improve their businesses and enhance the quality of life for their families.

Together with the Dutch development finance institution FMO, Norfund and other investors are investing a total of 85 million USD in Génesis. The aim is to unlock the full potential of Guatemala’s microentrepreneurs, paving the way for inclusive growth and prosperity.