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Originally published Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Global Partnerships closes $20 million fund aimed at microcredit in Latin America

In the midst of a shrinking supply of global capital, Global Partnerships closed a $20 million investment fund designed to expand access...

Seattle Times business reporter

In the midst of a shrinking supply of global capital, Global Partnerships closed a $20 million investment fund designed to expand access to microcredit for poor people in Latin America.

The Seattle-based non-profit said today its Microfinance Fund 2008, its third fund, includes a combination of donations and socially motivated investment.

Global Partnerships plans to use the capital to support more than 30 microfinance institutions in eight countries, which make tiny loans to nearly 1 million borrowers. Donors include the Western Union Foundation, the West Foundation and the Gilhousen Family Foundation.

Investors in the fund include Seattle International Foundation, several family foundations, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank, and 31 individual investors.

The fund seeks a return of 4 to 5 percent on a six-year note. Global Partnerships said it will focus on providing "high-performance" lenders who are making the most impact on poverty with funding for longer terms at more competitive rates.

Kristi Heim: 206-464-2718 or kheim@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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