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funding gap emerging markets


  • Invest in microfinance
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  • Female entrepreneurs in Ecuador face financial hurdles, but FACES aims to address this gender gap. María expanded her sandwich shop with a $1,000 microloan, providing jobs for her and her family. Investing in FACES empowers 150 entrepreneurs like María to grow. *EUR/USD exchange rate risk*

    24 months
    6 months
    Maturity24 months
    Repayments6 months
      Fully funded in 70 days on 21 September 2023.

      The project

      Please note the grace period: the first repayment of your investment will be made after 12 months, after that, there will be a repayment every 6 months. 

      FACES is a non-profit microfinance institution in Ecuador and stands for Fundación de Apoyo Comunitario y Social del Ecuador, underlining its social mission.

      With a strong emphasis on supporting female entrepreneurs, they serve a client base where women make up 54% of their clients. One of them is María, whose exquisite family recipe for peanut sandwiches grew fame and travelled all over Ecuador thanks to access to credit. With a loan of $1,000, she bought the necessary raw materials to start her business. A second and third loan allowed her to purchase toasting machines and mixers, which enabled her to produce more sandwiches and reduce costs. With financial support and advice from FACES, María managed to create work for herself and her family.

      Additionally, FACES allocates 57% of its portfolio to businesses located in rural areas, highlighting its commitment to supporting entrepreneurship in underserved communities. FACES aims to address the gender gap in accessing finance and provides microloans and technical resources to empower micro-entrepreneurs. With a focus on poverty reduction and gender equality, investing in FACES can contribute to job creation, improved living standards, and local economic development.


      What social return could your investment generate?

      Investing in FACES will empower 150 female entrepreneurs, fostering gender equality and women's economic empowerment in Ecuador. Despite the high drive and potential of female entrepreneurs, they often face numerous barriers. Research by the World Bank reveals disparities in access to technology, funds, and cultural norms that restrict women's access to financial and business resources in emerging markets. Read more about it in our blogpost about female entrepreneurship and their drive to grow GDP worldwide. 

      By providing financial resources, technical support, and growth opportunities, FACES enables women to overcome these barriers and thrive as entrepreneurs. Investing in FACES creates a more equitable society where women have equal access to resources and opportunities. This unlocks their full potential and paves the way for a brighter future for all.


      What financial return could your investment generate?

      • Annual interest rate of 5.25%
      • The maturity of the loan is 24 months
      • Grace period: the first repayment of your investment will be made after 12 months, after that, there will be a repayment every 6 months. 
      • With an investment of 1,000 euros, your expected total repayment would be 1,079 euros.
      • Please consider that you are investing in USD, so there is a risk of exchange rate fluctuations between dollars and euros. For more information on potential exchange rate risks, please visit our currency page.


      The story of Faces

      Founded in 1991, Fundación de Apoyo Comunitario y Social del Ecuador (FACES) is a non-governmental organisation committed to supporting micro-entrepreneurs through microloans. FACES operates in both the southern and northern regions of Ecuador, contributing to social and economic development. With a self-regulated framework, FACES provides competitive financing without additional charges and offers quick response times to clients. FACES provides essential assistance to micro-entrepreneurs, offering guidance in business planning, financial management, marketing strategies, and operational skills. These workshops and support services empower entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in running their businesses.


      Faces in numbers

      • Founded in 1991
      • 55% of FACES' client portfolio is in rural areas
      • 54% of their borrowers are female entrepreneurs
      • Loans are disbursed within 24-48 hours after gathering business information.
      • Over 900,000 microenterprises exist in Ecuador, creating 60% of all jobs.
      Company nameFACES
      CEOLuis Palacios Burneo
      Credit scoreA


      FACES is a non-profit microfinance institution in Ecuador with a strong gender focus. They work hard on serving female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in agricultural and rural areas.

      Ecuador has approximately 900,000 businesses, 99% of which are microenterprises and SMEs, which create 60% of all jobs. 

      Via its 19 branches, FACES currently serves small entrepreneurs in 4 provinces offering individual and group loans. The provinces they operate in are among the poorest in Ecuador, with almost half the population living below the poverty line.

      Ecuador is a world leader in female-led enterprises. However, access to financing is more limited for them than for similar enterprises led by men. FACES focuses on addressing this gender gap identified in the financial sector. In 2020, 53.88% of their clients were women. 50.55% of the microenterprises financed are managed by women, who mainly operate in the informal economy.

      Research shows that women in emerging markets invest 90 cents of each extra dollar they earn in their families and immediate environments. This translates into better schooling, healthcare, overall lifestyle, and eventually economic growth. 


      SDGs impacted

      With this project, you are contributing to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

      SDG 1 - No poverty

      SDG 5 - Gender equality

      SDG 8 - Decent work and economic growth

      SDG 10 - Reduced inequalities

      Read more about the impact you can make through our platform and the SDGs on our impact page.


      Related blog posts

      • With this investment 15 jobs are created
      • With this investment 730 lives are improved

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      We have already contributed to FACES 3

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