Oct 2020 /Oct 2025

Total LACIF contribution (€):
6 050 000

projected total investment size (€):
59 450 000

Types of Support:

  • Technical Assistance


  • Banking and Financial services


Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru

Lead financing institution:

Co-financing institutions:


Financial inclusion, the process by which individuals and businesses can access appropriate, affordable, and timely financial products and services, is far from being achieved in Latin America, particularly for smallholder farmers and micro enterprises. This hinders the availability of financial resources, hampering economic development and security of livelihoods for the most vulnerable.

Improvements have been made since 2011 and the adoption of digital payments was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, nevertheless barriers to enter the financial sector persist. According to Global Findex 2021, 41.67% of adults in Latin America (60% in rural areas) do not have access to a bank account, mainly due to lack of documentation and lack of trust in financial institutions. There was also a 10% increase in inactive accounts since 2014, due to the remoteness of bank branches, lack of confidence in the system and the conviction of not needing it. These figures illustrate the relevance of financial literacy strategies, financial consumer protection schemes and cybersecurity measures, which improve consumer confidence and efficient use of financial products. Gender disparities are also considerable: women are less likely to have bank accounts and to use financial products due to the gap in financial knowledge and skills.

Nevertheless, and although access to bank accounts is fundamental for financial inclusion, it is not sufficient on its own, as there are other reasons that prevent people from making effective use of financial products. To enhance financial inclusion, financial institutions need to design targeted products and tools and provide tailored financial literacy programmes.


“COOPAC Norandino has always fostered alliances in order to progress, to adapt constantly to the digital and technological world and to work in the most efficient and innovative way. Our purpose is to offer better alternatives and create value for our partners, especially those located in the most disadvantaged areas. The TIF programme has allowed us to establish a diagnosis of digital transformation needs and to formulate a project based on the digital ecosystem, institutional strengthening and the promotion of climate-smart finance. We feel confident that this change supported by TIF will contribute to accomplish our institutional vision, achieving an innovative and inclusive cooperative model in the next two years.” 

Freddy García Timaná, Head of Projects and Development at COOPAC Norandino.

The project

The Triple Bottom Line Inclusive Finance in Latin America (TIF) project supplies Financial Service Providers (FSP) serving urban and rural MSMEs with no or limited access to the formal financial sector with long-term loans, acting as a liquidity buffer, and customized technical assistance covering three areas:

  • Deepening inclusive finance: adapting financial and non-financial products to the needs of rural farmers and other population who has never owned a bank account; building FSPs digital ecosystems; enhancing digital literacy among users and improving social performance in order to alleviate poverty and provide opportunities to women.
  • Green microfinance and climate-smart action: providing FSPs with support on environmental risk mitigation and green products development.
  • Capacity building of the FSPs and networks: improving governance of FSPs and financial skills of their clients.

To benefit from the TIF project, FSPs must have a social mission and operate according to best practices of microfinance. The needs of each FSP are assessed individually and a combination of loans and different types of technical assistance are provided in order to improve its business model, address the needs of rural and unbanked clients and foster climate-smart products.

Most FSPs request support to implement comprehensive digitalization programmes. These usually cover the creation of software systems for the FSPs to effectively manage banking activities, extract data and introduce banking e-solutions such as digital accounts, wire transfers and mobile wallet applications. Personalization and simplification of these services have widened access to underserved clients. Final users also receive digital and financial education. The TIF project also assists FSPs in developing data analysis tools that use information from digital users. These sources of information help assess credit risk, easing access to financial products to previously unbanked clients. Furthermore, digital tools improve corporate financial performance of beneficiary MSMEs.

The TIF project emphasizes digital transformation and climate-smart solutions for Latin American MSMEs, maintaining a complete alignment with the EU Global Gateway strategy. The Global Gateway promotes smart, clean and fair investments to achieve sustainable development across the world in several priority sectors, among which digitalization and climate change mitigation and adaptation stand out.


The project improves outreach in depth and scale of MSME financing, enhances environmental risk mitigation and implementation of climate-smart practices and builds capacities to improve financial skills of end beneficiaries and ensure sustainability of the action. In particular, expected results are:

  • 30,000 previously unbanked MSMEs reached
  • EUR 53.4 million of new financing made available             
  • 62,000 jobs supported
  • 15% of smallholder farmers benefited adopt climate-smart strategies
  • 40% of beneficiaries located in rural areas
  • 45% of MSMEs supported ran by women
  • 7 entities supported in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Central America