Bolstering Women’s Economic Empowerment in Latin America

SBA project


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The Opportunity


Belcorp builds its business around a unique model, which allows women to earn income and empowers them with training and access to finance. It also gives them the flexibility to plan their work schedule taking into account their families.


As the third largest company in its sector in Latin America, Belcorp sets an important example, providing over one million female beauty consultants an opportunity to establish their own business. Many of these women are heads of low-income households or single mothers. In addition to consultants, Belcorp directly employs more than 9, 000 people, 72 percent of whom are women.


To facilitate the growth of their consultants’ business, Belcorp helps them access microfinance products and equips them with management skills through a training program. To further replicate this successful business model, Belcorp needed support from international investors – both to finance its expansion and better position the company.



Our Approach


IFC helped Belcorp expand its business by arranging a $130 million corporate facility, including a $50 million loan for IFC’s own account and an $80 million syndicated loan provided by international banks.  The investment is expected to generate 600 new full-time jobs in Colombia and Mexico, while the number of women consultants selling Belcorp’s products will increase from 1 million to 1.4 million.


Recognizing the company’s leadership in promoting economic opportunity for women, IFC invited Belcorp to join WINvest (Women-specific Investment) - the World Bank Group's Global Partnership initiative on women’s employment in the private sector. WINvest brings together IFC clients and private sector partners to improve working conditions and employment opportunities for women. Belcorp contributes to WINvest by demonstrating a strong business case for including women in the workforce and the value of investing in female employees.


Building on this partnership, IFC is collaborating with Belcorp to identify and communicate best practices in promoting women’s employment that can be replicated across different regions and sectors.



Results & Impact *


  • The project is expected to create 600 new full-time jobs in Colombia and Mexico over the next 5 years.
  • The number of Belcorp consultants selling the company's products is expected to increase from 1 million to 1.4 million by 2016.


 *As of December 2012

SBA project


Related Links and Resources


Print a two-page fact sheet on this project [PDF] »




Carmen Niethammer
+1 (202) 458-1582