12 Mar 2021
Sandra Ceballos is a single mother who besides tending to the needs of her four children, also takes care of the environment through her recycling business. Jessica Quipainao, also the primary breadwinner in her household, preserves her Mapuche heritage by making jewelry. Johana Jurado sells garments to leave a legacy for her daughter, and therefore strives to keep this small business afloat. They are just three of the 1.5 million women entrepreneurs across five Latin American countries that are thriving with help from the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF). Thanks to this work and its development finance initiatives, the Foundation is the top contributor to gender equality, according to the latest report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
04 Mar 2021
The many manifestations of COVID-19 have made us susceptible to associating any of its wide-ranging symptoms to the virus and we forget that other conditions still exist and need to be tended to. More worrisome is the fact that globally, public health measures to control the pandemic, including mobility restrictions and prioritization of COVID-19 treatment, coupled with the economic crisis that is producing an increase in poverty, has made it even more challenging for low-income patients to access treatment in a timely manner. In Latin America, according to Pfizer, the number of medical consultations and oncological visits nearly halved. Moreover, in the region, having medical coverage and access to basic health care is limited to very few people.
26 Feb 2021
For yet another year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published the data reported by nearly 40 of the largest foundations in member countries of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), to showcase the impact of private philanthropy. For second year running, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) ranks as the leading contributor to development in Latin America, and the world’s second, next to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
03 Feb 2021
45 minutes by motorcycle, half an hour by boat and 15 minutes on foot. That is how Sergio Pacheco and Victor Madera, loan officers of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation in Colombia, manage to bring financial services where no one else does. This journey is just one example among the numerous cases that can be found in the countries where the Foundation works. These are the lengths to which they go to reach those who live outside the financial system, which is another barrier to their progress. In 2020, BBVAMF has banked nearly 300,000 people in Colombia and Peru, and its two institutions combined have reached more than 2.1 million clients.
13 Nov 2020
In order for women like Yamile Salazar or Ceneris Espitia – two BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) entrepreneurs – to advance in Latin America they require three basic conditions: financial independence, self-esteem and a sense of belonging, or social integration, among other things.
07 Oct 2020
The Ibero-American Communication Association (ASICOM), together with the University of Oviedo and other iberoamerican institutions, awarded the work implemented by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation in Latin America, where it accompanies more than 2.3 million low-income entrepreneurs in five countries in the region. According to the organizers, this award acknowledges the work of the Foundation in “improving the standard of living of millions of people with their efforts.”
28 Sep 2020
Carlos Torres Vila participated in an event sponsored by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, entitled ‘Unstoppable 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.
16 Sep 2020
When she was barely 20 years old, Yohana Sosa decided to open her own business, knowing that things won’t be easy. Her talent for enterprising is mixed with a sense of responsibility which all of us must have, when it comes to caring for the environment. This is how she created D’Alexis Cartonera, a micro business that recycles cartons and turns them into custom-made packaging material. Today, almost a decade later, Yohana is a pacesetter in her community as her business keeps growing with the support of BBVA Microfinance Foundation, and with it, a greater awareness on how important it is to preserve natural resources.
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.
30 Jun 2020
An agricultural engineer, a painter, a baker, a shoemaker, Jorge Domínguez is a modern day “Renaissance Man.” He is also a 63 year old Venezuelan migrant in Pamplona, Colombia that fled his country three years ago in search of a better life for his family.
29 May 2020
To know that they help improve people’s lives is what encourages Roberta, Fernanda, Omar, Yuriem and Teresa to face the day. As part of more than 4,000 microfinance officers of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) in five Latin American countries, they reach places where others don’t go, to make financial services more accessible to low-income entrepreneurs who need only an opportunity to develop their livelihoods.
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).
23 Mar 2020
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.