Carlos Torres Vila participated in an event sponsored by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, entitled ‘Relentless women: Challenges to and achievements of reinvention in times of crisis’. The event, chaired by Queen Letizia of Spain, shone the spotlight on the work of Latin American women entrepreneurs and technology’s key role in propping up their resilience against the economic impact of the pandemic. Development experts from organizations such as SEGIB (Ibero-American General Secretariat), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UN Women and representatives of technology companies such as Google also took part in the event.
27 Aug 2020
Much is said about financial inclusion’s impact in people’s sustainable development: access to financial services is the gateway to an improved well-being and a necessary condition to guarantee equal opportunities, in addition to promoting growth. Institutions like the BBVA Microfinance Foundation facilitate this inclusion, something which, beyond its tangible value, empowers people to gradually enhance their financial management skills and, overtime, gain access to products and services from the formal banking system.
10 Aug 2020
The 9th of August is the day the United Nations honors the indigenous people for their efforts in protecting biodiversity and a millenium-old culture. They comprise 6% of the world’s population but their territory houses 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. Indigenous communities possess valuable knowledge on how to preserve the environment and care for natural resources. However, they face challenges that put their survival at risk, such as the lack of basic services like health -especially during the COVID-19 pandemic- or access to finance. Among other obstacles that hinder their progress is the lack of infrastructure, but the language barrier is also significant.
06 May 2020
Queen Letizia joined the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) on a videoconference to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting Latin American micro-enterprises and to learn about the measures the foundation has put in place via its entities in the five countries it operates (Colombia, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Chile, and Panama).
29 Jan 2020
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has presented its report on private development financing. The study assessed more than 30 of the largest foundations in the OECD member countries and reveals that the BBVA Microfinance Foundation disbursed $1.2 billion in 2018. This represents 83 percent of the total of this kind of financing in Latin America, BBVAMF’s sole operating region. BBVAMF thus places first in the region and second globally, after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
05 Nov 2019
“What would we do without data?” journalist Susana Roza asked at the opening session of Oracle Day, an annual event that took place in Madrid this year. More than 1,200 participants came together to talk about the future of technology. A question, if turned on its head, has an easy answer: “What can we do with data?” The possibilities are endless, as the more than 30 participating organizations — of which BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) was one — were able to confirm.
08 Oct 2019
She dreams big because she’s not afraid to fail; because failure is not part of her equation. She says this with the authority of someone who’s endured a rough childhood and has a role model to look up to. Yamile Salazar is the daughter of a woman who decided to bring her to this world despite hardship, with the only certainty that she would be able to provide for her. And those past efforts are starting to pay off: Yamile’s life undeniably proves that everything is possible, because she’s built a future out of nothing. Today, 90 people, mostly women, work for her and thousands of young women dream to wear some of her “Angels and Princesses” designs, creations of the clothing universe that embodies Yamile’s passion.
08 May 2019
The interactive game ‘Heroes’ has received the award for the Best Internal Communication Strategy for Change Management and Digital Transformation from Observatorio de Comunicación Interna (OCI), the Spanish association for internal communications. According to the award jury, “The BBVA Microfinance Foundation (MFBBVA) has backed a unique, innovative and educational tool instead of following along with a traditional approach based on emails, documentation, testing, and face-to-face classes.”
15 Apr 2019
It isn’t easy to live in Soacha. Despite being close to Bogota, basic services like running water are not available on a daily basis and the streets of this town, one of the most impoverished in Colombia, are known for their insecurity and lack of infrastructure. But everything is possible with an opportunity and enthusiasm and Jessica Hernandez is the perfect example of this. BBVA’s Group executive chairman wanted to meet the entrepreneur whose story was heard around the world following her speech at the United Nations during a BBVA Microfinance Foundation event.
14 Mar 2019
Rut Pelaiza has spent her entire life as an example: for her parents, for her daughters, and since five years ago, for the thousands of women in the Palabra de Mujer [Woman’s Word] program run by the Peruvian institution of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation. She recalls that she always wanted to be independent and with pride, shares how she managed to achieve this goal when she grew up.
28 Jan 2019
There are unsung heroes who travel miles, undaunted by distance or the obstacles they face on the road to reach their entrepreneurs: entrepreneurs who, whether standing behind a shop counter, sitting behind a sewing machine, or surrounded by their crops, make decisions everyday that impact their lives and the lives of their relatives and neighbors. If these entrepreneurs – more than two million today – are the heart of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, then the more than 4,000 loan officers who accompany them on the road toward prosperity are its soul. There are many types of heroes in the world. Some, like these, were not born heroes. The were made into heroes.
11 Dec 2018
There are more than two million people in five Latin American countries who work hard day in and day out to overcome barriers, live in dignity and make their dreams come true. More than two million entrepreneurs who are supported by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) so that their small businesses – their livelihoods – flourish. Of these two million people, most are women who are examples of how much can be done with so little. The Organization of American States (OAS) presented the BBVAMF an award for promoting the empowerment of women in Latin America – the region with the highest inequality in the world.
04 Dec 2018
BBVA’s Group Executive Chairman met with the Board of Trustees of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) following the appointment of Anna Escobedo Cabral, expert in development and a leading voice in the defense of the most disadvantaged regions, as the Board’s new Chair. Francisco González praised Claudio González Vega’s work, who will step down as chair of the institution but will continue to contribute his broad experience in microfinance as member of the Board.
03 Dec 2018
As of this morning, Anna Escobedo Cabral has become the chairwoman of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) Board of Trustees, after succeeding Claudio Gonzalez-Vega, who headed up the foundation’s governance body since 2015. As the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, humble origins led the new Board of Trustees’ chair to combine her studies with work and to become the first in her family to graduate from both high school and college.
24 Oct 2018
Not long ago, in Colombia, nearly half the population lived in poverty. In rural areas, the overwhelming majority. Ten years ago, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation made a commitment to change this reality by creating the country’s first microfinance bank, Bancamía, in collaboration with two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – ‘Corporación Mundial de la Mujer Colombia’ and ‘Corporación Mundial de la Mujer Medellín’.
15 Oct 2018
For Sandra Mendoza, the Colombian entrepreneur served by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, there is no question: “Sexism is the biggest barrier to overcome in rural areas.” This is also how she describes what it’s like to be a woman living in the countryside. At an event held in honor of the International Day of Rural Women, both she and Manuela Gómez, a Spanish entrepreneur from the Federation of Rural Women Associations (FADEMUR), spoke of a reality they know firsthand, despite the 5,000 miles that separate them.
28 Sep 2018
The best way to close a distance is to eliminate it. This is what is required if distance is what prevents one in every four financially excluded people from opening a bank account. The World Bank indicates that technology may play a key role in making financial inclusion a viable reality for everyone, which is why digital transformation is part of BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s DNA. The Foundation aims to reach more people, regardless of how far away they live, and to provide assistance as efficiently and quickly as possible.
10 Aug 2018
Marcos, Marcela, Lucy, Juan, Adelaida, and Luz are not six names just pulled from a hat. They are six Latin American entrepreneurs who are getting ahead using small loans, savings, and microinsurance that protects what they are building. They are six of the 2 million people served by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF).
22 May 2018
“Sun-dried organic banana, a little bit of butter, sugar, guava jam…” Step by step, Diana Céspedes recited one of the recipes that she and other 16 women know by heart. They’ve already executed the same procedure a million times, but today, it has to be perfect because it’s not everyday that they welcome a queen.
06 Mar 2018
“New York is overrated. What I’m drawn to is Hong Kong, Thailand and the Moroccan desert”. That’s Jessica Hernández’s take on things. Jessica is 28 and lives in Soacha, a modest town in the outskirts of Bogota. She travelled to New York to tell her story to the UN and there she met another fearless girl in the shape of Kristen Visbal’s sculpture, which since March 8 has been locking horns with the bull on Wall Street.
08 Mar 2017
Almost seventy years since it was first recognized as a universal right, in 1948, gender equality is still far from being a done deal. Indeed, despite representing 50% of the labor workforce, women are responsible for just 37% of the world’s GDP. According to the World Economic Forum, a series of measures are expedited, economic gender equality will not be achieved for another 170 years.
23 Feb 2017
Thirty years ago, microfinance revolutionized the market with affordable loans for the disadvantaged. Until then, the most vulnerable population segments were left out on the fringes of the financial system, and had no way of accessing credit. Today, with 2 billion adults still unbanked, new technologies are emerging with the potential to reach more people at a lower cost. But this opportunity is having a challenging impact on the current microfinance model, which was built on the pillars of personal relations and trust.
07 Dec 2016
He travels incognito in a big wooden box that reveals neither the contents nor the destination. Completely immobilized and protected from any impact, Charles II arrives in Puebla by land and by air. The International Museum of the Baroque in Puebla anxiously awaits the arrival of this King’s portrait – part of the BBVA Collection. It hangs in one of the rooms of the exhibition “The Art of Nations: The Baroque as Global Art”. There nothing disturbs the monarch who probably never dreamt he would one day visit Mexico.
02 Dec 2016
Everyone should have access to basic financial services by 2020. This goal, set by the World Bank, aims to combat the financial exclusion that impacts two billion people. Several organizations from the public and private sector, including BBVA Microfinance Foundation, have signed the Universal Financial Access 2020 (UFA), committing to meet this deadline.
Having a bank account is the first step to access basic financial services, such as loans or insurance, which help underprivileged families to receive essential services like water, electricity, housing, education or healthcare. It also allows small and medium sized businesses to grow, expand operations and improve risk management.
19 Oct 2016
There was a time when fashion was not decided in Paris, Milan or New York. At one point, it was Philip II’s Spain, an empire where the sun never set, who told the world how to dress. As a reflection of the time, art is the perfect guide to learn about fashion in the 16th and 17th Centuries through the BBVA Collection.
05 Sep 2016
The 2016 BBVA – El Celler de Can Roca Tour 2016 ended with great success, after traveling around the world in 35 days. Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, together with the entire El Celler de Can Roca team, went to London, Hong Kong, Phoenix, San Francisco and Santiago de Chile over the past five weeks. In each city, they paid tribute to the country’s cuisine, reinterpreting popular dishes and creating new ones inspired in the tour’s previous travels. Joan Roca, the head chef; Josep Roca, maitre d’ and sommelier; and Jordi Roca, pastry chef, have served nearly 40,000 dishes for 1,900 BBVA customers and guests.
30 Aug 2016
You can’t reach the top without effort, hard work, and passion. And these are precisely the values that have been championed by the team at El Celler de Can Roca for the last 30 years. Ever since Joan and Josep Roca opened their own restaurant alongside their parents’ eatery in August 1986, they have not ceased in their pursuit of excellence and their total commitment to what they do: delivering a unique experience to everyone who takes a seat at one of their tables.
08 Aug 2016
12Visit the gallery
14 Jun 2016
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants gala held last night in New York held yet another surprise for the most famous family in the global culinary scene. Joan Roca –the restaurant’s ‘boss’, just as his two brothers acknowledged – received the Chef’s Choice Award, based on the votes by the other chefs from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
El Celler de Can Roca, which has been ranked in the top-5 since 2009, scooped the second position, for the forth time in its history. Joan Roca’s work has been recognized by chefs, who have awarded him with the Chef’s Choice Award.
04 May 2016
What is Europe’s economic outlook? How can it overcome the impact of the crisis and start to grow and create jobs again? In the book published by BBVA, The Search for Europe: Contrasting Approaches, twenty-three prestigious authors attempt to respond to these and other questions weighing on the most ambitious integration project in modern history. The book is available for free on the knowledge community, OpenMind.
15 Mar 2016
Did you know that the oxygen level at 8,000 meters of altitude is one third the amount of oxygen available at sea level? When the goal is to reach 8,000 meters it is important to be aware that only Mother Nature exists up there. However, the body can go through acclimatization, which is an adaptation process to survive in the conditions of the new environment.
17 Feb 2016
“Now I listen to Goya and Dalí. Going to the grocery store is like going to a club.” It may seem unbelievable but it’s not science fiction. Neil Harbisson is the first known cyborg in history. Thanks to an antenna implanted in his head, he can hear colors. His passion for innovation and desire to challenge the limits of what is humanly possible caught the attention of Jordi Roca, the best pastry chef in the world in 2014 and co-owner of El Celler de Can Roca with his brothers.
27 Jan 2016
Marvin Minksy, regarded as the father of Artificial Intelligence (AI), has died at the age of 88 as a result of a brain hemorrhage. In 2014, Minsky was awarded the BBVA Foundation ‘Frontiers of Knowledge’ prize in Information and Communication Technologies. He was a professor emeritus at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston and made significant contributions in the areas of mathematics, cognitive science, robotics and philosophy.
24 Dec 2015
17 Dec 2015
15 Jul 2015
Some sports we practice alone, some we do as part of a group. But, in this case, it is not how, but the reason why we practice a sport that matters. Carlos Soria often talks about how he met his wife on a mountain. Also, he always wanted his daughters to feel at home in nature, in a setting that brought so much joy to his life. This is a reason why: Understanding this popular mountaineer’s fascination for climbing, for difficult challenges, for what, ultimately, is an essential part of his life.