Finamérica was previously called Finansol. Finansol was created in 1993 by the nonprofit foundation with which Accion partnered to launch microcredit in Bogota in 1988. In 1996, a severe erosion of Finansol's portfolio led Accion to spearhead a U.S. $9 million recapitalization plan. Since that time, and despite a difficult economic environment in Colombia characterized by frequent bank failures, Finansol regained its footing. Re-christened as Finamérica in 1998, the institution is financially solid and growing.
Accion and Finamérica have worked together to strengthen Finamérica’s credit methodology and the product and services portfolio. This collaboration has also allowed Finamérica to develop a new microsavings product and has helped the institution to improve its overall financial health.
Accion and Finamérica have partnered to implement a rural finance program aimed to cast the net of financial services out into the rural areas of Latin America. Supported in part by the Inter-American Development Bank, the project spans five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with the goal of reaching 200,000 new clients with a range of microfinance services by 2014. Finamérica is also one of three microfinance institutions in Latin America that are piloting new ways to offer savings accounts to low-income microentrepreneurs. This project is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 2012, Accion (in partnership with Finamérica) launched Avanza, an innovative new service that aims to make the microfinance lending process easier and more efficient for everyone involved. Avanza uses mobile teams of loan officers and a risk-adjusted approach to reach, enroll and process loan applications from new and existing clients. The program has already reduced the disbursement time from the average five days to as little as 24 hours.