Banco W Issuing $40M “Social Bond,” Funded by IDB Invest to Promote Gender Equity in Colombia via Microfinance

IDB Invest, a member of the US-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, recently subscribed to a four-year bond of COP 150 billion ($39.6 million) to be issued by Banco W, a Colombian credit institution. The funds are slated to reach 25,000 female-led microenterprises and support the “development of the capital markets and thematic bonds in Colombia.” The bond is registered with the Colombian Stock Exchange, and IDB Invest describes it as “social” based on its support for the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Decent Work and Economic Growth; Gender Equality; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; and No Poverty. 

In addition to enterprise loans, Banco W offers consumer loans and microinsurance. Founded in 2011, the microlender has 146 offices, 150 banking correspondents and 17,000 collection points in 30 departments in Colombia. As of June 2020, it has a portfolio of $338 million outstanding to 218,000 clients.