Bancóldex Launches Subsidized $1.1 Million USD Small Business Loan Program for Victims of Colombian Conflict
Colombian development bank Bancóldex has established a new small business loan program that will make credit available to victims of the nation’s armed conflict.
The bank said that may offer individual loans of up to 50 times the monthly minimum salary, which is almost $14,000 USD at today’s exchange rate, for a term of up to 10 years. Repayment grace periods of up to two years may also be available on a case-to-case basis, with subsidized interest rates that will not exceed 4% for the recipient.
The Bogotá-based bank will continue lending under this program until the end of the year or until exhausting the allocated fund of $1.1 million USD (3.2 billion pesos).
The initiative has been kicked off in partnership with the governmental Victims Unit, which is subsidizing 2.17% of the loan interest rate (which will not exceed 6.17%) through an investment of around $150,000 USD (400 million pesos).
Anyone who is deemed eligible by the Victim’s Unit, which maintains a registry of nearly seven million qualified individuals, can apply for a business loan. While various use cases will be considered, Bancóldex specifically named the following categories as likely purposes for the funds: working capital, liabilities, modernization, and replacement of damaged vehicles not covered by insurance.
The bank also noted that it will approve loans for companies operating both domestically and those that look more toward the export market. All sectors are eligible except for agriculture, stated Bancóldex.
Applications can be made through various banks across Colombia, with Bancóldex serving as the verifying party. Full requirements for applicants are detailed in “Circular 009,” a provision signed by bank head Mario Suárez Melo.