2020 is a crucial year for women and girls, everywhere. We celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It also marks the five-year milestone of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s 64th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was deemed to be the big commemoration and opportunity to reaffirm these mandates. There are still significant and pervasive gender gaps in the economic and political participation of women all over the world. Progress is sluggish and if we are serious about achieving the 2030 Agenda we must step up the pace.
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.
18 Dec 2019
They are both refugees. Einstein, considered one of the greatest geniuses in history, fled Nazi occupied Germany to the United States in 1933 after his civil liberties were revoked and he was barred from his professorship for being an outspoken opponent of the government. Fortunately, Princeton University recognized his intelligence and offered him a job. A fortuitous event that changed his life and ours, yet for many refugees today, such opportunities are scarce.
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.
16 Oct 2019
Angélica Valbuen lives in Cundinamarca, Colombia. She is 39 years old, works in the fields. A situation that destines them to financial exclusion if it were not for the work of institutions like the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, which helps over 150,000 women in rural areas of Latin America.
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.
29 Aug 2019
Calama is a Chilean city known as the gateway to the Atacama desert. A barren place that smells of dust, salt and heat. However, it was the destination chosen by Gladys Chacana to rebuild her inner strength. At 73, this woman has something she would never even dared to dream of: a support network that makes life in this place a bit less arid.
23 May 2019
Artist Lita Cabellut, an Air Force commander, a player of the national rugby team, a gas fitter and businesswoman, a science degree undergraduate and a truck driver and entrepreneur served by BBVA Microfinance Foundation have shared how, from their own experiences, an opportunity can change people’s lives. The Queen has chaired the roundtable, where the current Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, BBVA group executive chairman Carlos Torres Vila and BBVAMF CEO Javier M. Flores have also participated.
09 May 2019
Entrepreneurship held an important place in BBVA’s 2016-2018 Community Investment Plan. The Group’s programs especially target entrepreneurs who are in vulnerable circumstances and those whose projects will have a positive impact on society or the environment.
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.
08 Mar 2019
We all remember those teachers who asked us what we want to be when we grow up. A critical moment in a child’s life because that is when we begin to build our sense of self and anticipate what we might achieve in the future. A study published by the magazine Science reveals that girls from the age of six are less prone to consider their own sex as “brilliant”. The significant inequality between men and women, gender stereotypes, and the way we educate them cause girls to limit their aspirations, to build walls in their own heads.
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.
31 Oct 2018
Claudio González-Vega, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation and member of the Advisory Board of BBVA’s Center for Financial Education and Capabilities, is one of the world’s leading voices in finance and development, especially in the field of microfinance. For him, financial education is a “vital tool for escaping the poverty trap.”
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).
12 Jul 2018
BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila got a first-hand glimpse into the level of progress that the BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s digital strategy is enabling. Bancamía, the Foundation’s lending arm in the country, is managing to reach more and more customers who, until recently, had struggled to access financing as a result of the digital divide. BBVA’s CEO learned about two of the entrepreneurs backed by the institution and how microcredits have afforded them new opportunities to pursue a brighter future.
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.
28 Mar 2018
Garanti Bank has taken the opportunity before the United Nations to present its ongoing efforts in the global engagement against gender-based violence. Garanti’s campaign against this societal anathema is coordinated by the Turkish bank’s Talent & Culture Department, with the bank’s “Good Practice” report presented on March 19 of this year before the 62nd Session of United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (62nd CSW) within the scope of the Business against Domestic Violence (BADV) project.
08 Mar 2018
Astrid, Adelaida and Arancha are three very different women. They live thousands of miles apart. In different countries, different continents. Their work is also completely unrelated: livestock breeding in Colombia, a store in Panama and mobile app development in Spain. However, there is one thing that these three women have in common: all of them, at one point in their lives, decided to start their own businesses to support their families or make an idea come true. The three also think that, in their case, being a woman worked more to their advantage than against it. We brought them together so that they could share their story with us.
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.
29 May 2017
The challenges of financial inclusion: technological challenges and the role of women in the economy were the main topics addressed in the Forum on Financial Inclusion and Development organized by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, Chaired by Her Majesty the Queen.
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.
06 Feb 2017
The headquarters of BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) in Madrid was the venue of the meeting that the company held with Luis Alberto Moreno, Chairman of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The aim of this meeting was to analyze the joint projects of both institutions and their future initiatives.
29 Dec 2016
In 2016, BBVA reinforced its efforts and initiatives toward community and its responsible banking model. Across the Group, countless activities clearly showed the bank’s commitment to such matters as education, knowledge, financial inclusion and the environment.
14 Dec 2016
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 Nov 2016
“It is really moving to see this type of initiatives and how a Foundation like ours can do so much in favor of society. These people have access to loan facilities, but they manage to move forward thanks to their own efforts and will to fight. Their work is spectacular and we are already seeing progress in future generations; their kids and grandchildren go to school and many even make it to college. For me, it has been an incredible visit,” said Francisco González during his visit to some of the projects supported by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) in Soacha, a city just outside of Bogota (Colombia).
16 Nov 2016
Javier M. Flores, CEO of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, renewed the foundation’s commitment with the Sustainable Development Goals Fund until 2019. During the session held at the headquarters of United Nations, the SDG Fund also presented the report “Universality and the SDGs: A Business Perspective”. This publication examines some of the key issues facing companies when incorporating and implementing the SDGs within their core strategy.
20 Oct 2016
Financial education is now part of the G20’s strategic agenda. The role it plays in fighting equality is becoming increasingly well-known, making it a priority for companies working in the banking sector.
04 Aug 2016
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) has taken part in the United Nations’ High-Level Panel on the economic empowerment of women in Latin America. This event served as an important first step on the road for working together to create a planet without discrimination.
08 Jul 2016
Over 6,000 people attended the largest event about cooperation and development in Europe. Organized annually by the European Commission in Brussels, this year’s European Development Days were held on June 15 and 16. With the active participation of BBVA Microfinance Foundation (FMBBVA), the main topic of the event was the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
10 Jun 2016
With the aim of reinforcing financial inclusion and the fight against poverty, Financiera Confianza – an entity of BBVA Microfinance Foundation – was formed in Peru. The results so far are very significant and most of its success derives from its clear mission: to promote the sustainable development of the most disadvantaged groups through responsible and productive finance. In other words, in keeping with BBVA’s purpose, Confianza seeks to place the opportunities of this new era within reach of everyone.
11 Apr 2016
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) has chosen the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, along with three more Spanish institutions, as a case study in the guide it is preparing on the role of enterprise in achieving these goals.
05 Apr 2016
Francisco González has presented Queen Letizia with the BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s “2015 Social Impact Report. Measuring what really matters”. Among other details, this report highlights that 32.5% of the people served by the entity escapes poverty two years after joining the entity, and after three years their sales increase by 57%.
02 Mar 2016
1 dollar a day is the threshold of extreme poverty, below which it is impossible for a person to survive. This was one of the main conclusions of the Australian economist, Martin Ravallion, who has won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category.