Variable Payment Obligation (VPO) Program

Increasing access to credit and business development services for women entrepreneurs in Nicaragua




With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Argidius Foundation, Enclude implements the VPO program in partnership with Banco de America Central (BAC) Nicaragua, Agora Partnerships, and the Miller Center at Santa Clara University.


To address the unique constraints that small and growing businesses (SGBs) face in borrowing from local banks, the VPO program team has developed a loan product tailored to the needs and characteristics of women-owned and –led SGBs. In addition to using a cash-flow lending methodology and flexible collateral policies, the VPO product offers a repayment schedule that is responsive to fluctuations in cash flow. Business Development Services (BDS) are delivered alongside the loan to accelerate borrower growth, strengthen loan monitoring, reduce the risk of default, and increase program impact and sustainability. Finally, the program employs a loan syndication model using an investment vehicle to enable international third-party investors to co-lend alongside the partner bank, thereby reducing the bank’s risk of testing a new product and segment and at the same time providing third-party investors with a way to invest directly in SGBs.



Strengthen the capacity of SGBs to successfully use and manage the funds received and grow their businesses.

Develop a new market opportunity for banks and third party investors, thereby increasing opportunities for impact investors and reducing risk for partner banks.

Increase access to finance for small and growing businesses (SGBs).


Increase access to finance for women and SGBs that are currently left out of the financial system.

Increased flow of capital to investment in SMEs.


Develop SME loan product with cash flow based underwriting process and repayment schedule.

Provide technical assistance to BAC throughout the program, including in loan underwriting.

Structure investment vehicle to permit US- and EU-based investors to co-lend to SMEs alongside BAC.

Manage overall program and coordinate among partners.