Francisco González visits small business owners supported by BBVA Microfinance Foundation in Colombia
“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).
These micro-entrepreneurs told him how their businesses are doing thanks to the support from Bancamía, BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s bank in Colombia, which serves over 800,000 people across the country. “These disadvantaged entrepreneurs have one thing in common: they want to see an improvement of their living conditions and those of their families. We feel honored to be able to give them support, helping them to prosper and have a better life,” said Javier M. Flores, BBVA Microfinance Foundation general manager.
After a work meeting at the Bancamía headquarters, BBVA’s Executive Chairman visited some of these small businesses: a daycare center, a small market and an establishment where women meet to make hand-knit garments.
"Their work is spectacular and we are already seeing progress in future generations
Francisco González and Javier M. Flores visit Vicente, owner of a small market in Soacha and a Bancamía's client
Soacha, a priority area for United Nations
Fifteen miles outside of Bogota, Soacha is one of the poorest areas in the region. This city of 500,000 is also one of the places that has taken in the most people displaced by armed conflict in Colombia. That’s why the United Nations and the World Bank have made it a priority to take action in the area. So has Bancamía: since 2008 it has provided service to 6,685 displaced individuals.
"We feel honored to be able to give them support, helping them to prosper and have a better life
The footprint of the Microfinance Foundation, a non-profit financial institution BBVA created in 2007, covers 91% of Colombia’s territory, where it grants over a thousand loans a day that average around €1,181. 71% of its customers are disadvantaged individuals and 44% live in rural areas. Thanks to Bancamía’s work, the percentage of poor customers has dropped 32% two years after working with the bank.
Francisco González and Javier M. Flores visit a daycare center, owned by Norma, a Bancamía's client
With over 1.8 million customers throughout Latin America, BBVAMF is one of the most prominent non-profit initiatives on the continent. The UN has recognized its major contribution to fighting poverty and promoting gender equality, as well as efforts to support economic growth and dignified work. The United Nations Economic and Social Council recently gave BBVAMF consultative status for its work.
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