MicroVest I, LP Receives $500,000 Investment from Cisco Systems Foundation

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Today, MicroVest I, LP announced it received a $500,000 investment from the Cisco Systems Foundation in support of the world’s entrepreneurial poor.

Today, MicroVest I, LP, a leading microfinance investment fund, announced it received a $500,000 investment from the Cisco Systems Foundation in support of the world’s entrepreneurial poor. The investment will support microfinance institutions (MFIs) throughout Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. MFIs are bank and non-bank institutions in the developing world that provide basic financial services to the poor to cover start-up and growth costs associated with running cottage businesses.    

“Microfinance institutions play a key role in providing the citizens of developing nations with resources to encourage and enable self sustainability and income generation,” said Mike Yutrzenka, Executive Director of the Cisco Systems Foundation. “MicroVest I, LP provides the Cisco Foundation with a vehicle by which we can put our financial assets to work in helping developing countries provide citizens with opportunities that reduce poverty and offer a greater sense of empowerment.”

The announcement comes at the beginning of a new fiscal year for the Fund which has already raised over $20 million in private investments and is poised to grow by 50% next year. Gil Crawford, General Manager of MicroVest Capital Management, LLC believes the increase in private investment reflects growing confidence in the microfinance investment industry. And for good reason. MicroVest was founded on the premise that not only do the world’s entrepreneurial poor make great clients, but the financial institutions serving them can provide a robust and globally diversified portfolio achieving both solid financial returns and enabling profound social development. With the close of its third fiscal year in June 2006, MicroVest is expected to announce profits in the realm of $500,000 later this fall.

“We’re proving the business model,” Crawford says. “The world is starting to understand that global development doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. If resources are utilized efficiently, poverty as we know it can be eliminated.”        

About MicroVest Capital Management:

MicroVest (Bethesda, MD) is a private investment firm providing debt and equity capital and management oversight to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in emerging markets. It is the first private equity microfinance investment firm in the United States. MicroVest’s goal is to expand the capacity of existing, profitable MFIs throughout the world while building capital markets that work for the poor. MicroVest was founded by CARE, MEDA and the Seed Capital Development Fund - three non-profit organizations with longstanding credibility in the microfinance industry.

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