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Financial Education in Costa Rica

From Coopenae website

In Costa Rica, a large part of the population still has inadequate or no access to finance. This is not only due to a lack of formal financial services, but is also directly related to low levels of financial literacy among households and small entrepreneurs.

Individuals and small enterprises often find it difficult to choose a product that best meets their financial needs.

Risk mitigation instruments, such as insurance products, pension schemes and savings plans are often not well known or understood. As a result, customers may apply for products which are not suitable for their financial circumstances.

Avoiding debt

DEG’s customer Coopenae is implementing a financial literacy programme in rural areas to equip households and small entrepreneurs with the basic financial skills necessary to manage their budget and understand and compare financial products. DEG supports this project as part of its Business Support Services.

‘Coopenae offers their members financial training workshops with the aim to improve the management of their income and reduce indebtedness. With DEG’s BSS we can extend the scope of our programme to reach most vulnerable groups in rural areas’, said José Eduardo Alvarado, General Manager of Coopenae.

Through a series of workshops, Coopenae aims to enable them to choose the financial products best suited to their individual situation and financial needs. With its offer, Coopenae plans to reach at least 12,000 people in the next two years, especially from socially disadvantaged families.

Reaching more than 12,000 people

Coopenae has been a customer of DEG’s since 2013. It offers financial services such as loans, savings, and insurance products.

As the country’s largest financial cooperative, it has around 100,000 members throughout the country, including some 5,500 small and medium businesses.

Through its financial literacy programme, Coopenae also hopes to attract new customers and improve credit quality in the long-term.