Banco Económico

Banco Económico serves nearly 150,000 customers in Bolivia, with a mission to expand opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

About Banco Economico

Based in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Banco Económico was founded in 1991 by a group of entrepreneurs looking to fulfill the financing needs of MSMEs, which were not being well-served by the banking sector. Since then, the organization has grown exponentially, expanding to 44 branches throughout Bolivia and serving almost 150,000 customers. Although the bank today serves all segments, its primary mission remains to expand business opportunities for the country’s MSMEs.

The Program

Banco Económico recently entered into an MSME Financing Partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in an effort to expand access for women-owned MSMEs in Bolivia. Through the program, the IDB is providing Banco Económico with up to US$12 million to finance MSME loans of less than US$500,000. The bank is also receiving technical assistance from the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) through its women entrepreneurshipBanking initiative. In addition, Banco Económico offers an award-winning training program for MSME owners, called “E-Business, Working Together.”

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Women represent
45 percent of Banco
customer base.

Women make up
42 percent of the bank’s
lending portfolio and
44 percent of deposits.

43 percent of previously
unbanked customers
are women.

The bank’s staff is
52 percent women.


The Opportunity - Bolivia

  • 55%

    of all women age 15 or older were in the Bolivian workforce as of 2017, the World Bank found.
  • 51%

    of women reported having a bank account at a financial institution in the country in 2017, according to Findex data.
  • 18%

    of women saved at a financial institution in 2017, while 52% saved overall, Findex reported.
  • 18%

    of Bolivian women borrowed from a formal financial institution in 2017, according to Findex – yet 46% borrowed money in total.