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OPIC and DAWN Sign $5 Million Commitment to Support Women Entrepreneurs through Microfinance in Myanmar

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

(OPIC)  WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has signed a commitment letter for a $5 million loan to Early Dawn Microfinance Company Ltd. (DAWN), a microfinance institution (MFI) whose largest shareholder and operating partner is Accion, a global nonprofit and financial inclusion pioneer headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The OPIC loan will support access to finance for micro and small business-owners in Myanmar, specifically targeting low-income female entrepreneurs who are often the country’s most economically disadvantaged.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Myanmar has the lowest rate of financial intermediation among ASEAN nations and substantial unmet demand for microfinance services. According to the World Bank, less than 23 percent of Burmese have an account with a formal financial institution, and most rely on informal ways to borrow, such as money lenders and pawn shops, which can be very expensive. OPIC’s support to DAWN will help it achieve its goal of reaching 150,000 customers by 2019.

OPIC provides financing to MFIs globally through its investments in microfinance funds, targeted credit facilities to individual MFIs, risk-sharing agreements with other co-lenders and loan guaranties supporting innovative industry efforts. With over $1 billion in current commitments, OPIC provides financing both directly and indirectly to nearly 200 MFIs in more than 50 countries.

OPIC is a self-sustaining, development-driven agency that finances and insures U.S. businesses operating in emerging economies around the world. Support to MFIs is an important means by which OPIC can have an outsized impact on the lives of people living at the base of the economic pyramid in developing countries around the world.