The Costa Rican foundation Fundecooperación para Desarrollo Sostenible this week reported they have ₡750 million ($1.3 million) available to finance small- and medium-sized businesses to help improve the quality of life or promote gender equality.
“The funds are part of our Custom-Made Credit Program aimed both at individuals and companies with environmentally sustainable projects or businesses,” said José Montero Peña, from the foundation’s Credit Promotion Department.
Under the program funds are available through three separate loan types. The first, investments loans, offers credits of up to ₡65 million ($120,000) for buying property, expanding facilities or acquiring equipment. The credit line offers up to ₡40 million ($75,000) for working capital and short-term investments. Second-tier loans grant funds up to ₡200 million ($377,000) to associations, cooperatives and other organized groups for funding business opportunities among associates or community members.
The foundation mostly aims at benefiting businesses or projects related to agriculture, forestry, sustainable energy, clean technologies, sustainable tourism and gender equality, among others.
Recently it opened a new credit line for “cultural value” businesses, where individuals or groups can apply for projects involving manufacturing or marketing traditional Costa Rican goods and services.
The study and approval process of an application takes on average 40 days. Credit options are available for both Ticos and expats as long as they meet the foundation’s requirements, Montero said.
“There are various projects by expats currently in operation. Among them are tourism, recycling and souvenir manufacturing businesses,” he said.
Fundecooperación launched its credit programs in 1994 and since have invested approximately $35 million in over 300 projects promoting sustainable development.