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.
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.
BBVA is developing an open innovation program in the region, known as fast track, which makes it possible to streamline and make more efficient the processes that the Group develops together with startups to implement new digital products and services for the benefit of customers.
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.
Pastry chef Jordi Roca introduced his new book ‘Casa Cacao’ (‘Cocoa House’), a cookbook full of creations where chocolate plays the leading role. Co-authored with food journalist Ignacio Medina, this cookbook is also an encyclopedic dedication to cocoa and follows both men on their journey through various parts of Latin America in search of the best chocolate in the world. The launch of the book in Madrid included participation from Oscar Moya, BBVA’s Director of Global Sponsorships and Corporate Content, and Lydia Diaz, Director of Planeta Gastro, a Spanish publishing house specializing in gastronomy. This book is a prelude to a gastronomic venue that Jordi Roca will open next year in Girona, in northeastern Spain. BBVA will produce a documentary to accompany the kick-off of the new venue.
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’.
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.
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.
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).
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.
BBVA has celebrated its first ‘Values Day.’ A day to embrace and live the values of the Group: Customer comes first; We think big; We are one team. BBVA Executive chairman Francisco González and CEO Carlos Torres Vila reaffirmed these values as “the heart of a long process of transformation that the bank is spearheading at a global level.”
Travelling is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Visiting new cities, learning about new cultures and other languages is a dream for many. But travelling across the globe is not as easy as it seems. Fortunately, paintings have the power of taking us to other places and eras. BBVA Collection has set out to bring all corners of the world together, so that we can have them at hand’s reach.
According to BBVA Research’s Latin America Economic Outlook report for the second quarter of 2018, the region’s positive trends of recent years are set to continue, with GDP growth forecasted at 1.4% for 2018 and 2.5% for 2019. However, BBVA’s study service has downgraded its 2018 growth forecast for the region by three tenths.
The global head of Customer Solutions (CS) closed BBVA Colombia’s quarterly planning meeting in an ‘All Hands’ session with 300 participants representing all areas of the bank. The message is clear: the transformation is accelerating.
Economic activity in Latin America has been invigorated in recent months, in line with the recovery of confidence among families and businesses and a more favorable external context. In its Latin America Economic Outlook for first quarter 2018, BBVA Research forecasts that the region’s growth will increase from 1.1% in 2017 to 1.7% in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019.
The transformation of the economy opens the door to collaboration between big corporations and startups: they need to understand each other and collaborate. It’s a beneficial relationship for all, but one which is not always easy.
BBVA continued leading the way to innovation in Latin America during 2017, becoming the region’s digital bank par excellence. That distinction was confirmed by Global Finance magazine, which judged BBVA’s mobile banking app to be the best in Latin America. BBVA’s local franchises in the region have set the pace in the development of products and services which, just as in the case of mobile banking, aim to make their customers’ lives easier and deliver on the Group’s intent to bring the age of opportunity to everyone.
Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Chile are examples of BBVA’s commitment to digitization and to offering the most advanced services for customers in the all markets where the bank operates. Chatbots, online investment funds and corporate leasing functions are all evidence of the bank’s progress in Latin America.
Open Talent has evolved from a unified competition for technological companies to one divided into categories that supports all kinds of entrepreneurs in innovation from many countries. It has developed every year since 2009 to help more new entrepreneurs.
The Pacific Alliance, made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, is a regional economic and comercial powerhouse. This area grows more than the average in Latin America. BBVA Research expects GDP growth of 1.6% and 2.3% in 2017 and 2018, respectively. “The Pacific Alliance is a success story in integration. And not by chance. It shares an ambition and a set of values behind this policy, on how prosperity should be reached,” said Jose Manuel González-Páramo, executive director of BBVA in Santander.
Argentina and Brazil are finally pulling out of recession and driving the economic growth in Latin America as a whole this year, despite the slowdown in other countries in the region. According to BBVA Resarch’s ‘Latin America Economic Outlook’ Q3 report, the region will grow 0.8% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018.
A total of 87 entrepreneurs from five countries have been selected to participate in BBVA Momentum 2017, the most global edition of BBVA’s program of social entrepreneurship. The selection was made from among a total of more than 700 candidates from Spain, Mexico, the United States, Colombia and Turkey.
The economic slowdown in Latin America will come to an end this year, with a 1.1% growth rate in the region. Forecasts by BBVA Research estimate that in 2018, the region´s economy will continue to recover, with GDP expanding at the rate of 1.8%. This is still well below its potential, which is estimated at close to 3%.
The Internet of Things is today a reality. Apart from the benefits it can provide to companies, the IoT will become a powerful tool in the fight for citizen security, given its many possible uses.
Five global teams from BBVA Customer Solutions and five local teams from BBVA in South America. A total of 10 teams met in Dallas (Texas) with a common goal in mind: connecting around shared projects to ensure that BBVA capitalizes on global capacities to create amazing customer experiences. That was BBVA South America’s Global Week in Dallas.
BBVA today announces the launch of the ninth edition of its Open Talent fintech competition – which this year has grown significantly to offer even more people the chance to work with a world-leading digital business.
BBVA launches the sixth edition of its social entrepreneurship support program, which from now on will be global – it will be developed in Spain, the United States, Mexico, Turkey and Colombia –, will offer support to more companies and will adjust better to the reality of social entrepreneurs. BBVA Momentum channels its support through five initiatives: a training program; a strategic mentoring program; a network of entrepreneurs, customers and investors; collaboration to provide visibility to the companies; and, finally, funding.
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.
South America’s GDP will recover in 2017 after four years of economic slowdown, while Mexico will bear the impact of the uncertainty surrounding US policies, which is likely to hinder its growth prospects. These are the key conclusions of BBVA Research’s Latin America Outlook Q1 2017 report.
6500 million pesos. This figure confirms BBVA Colombia’s commitment with children’s education across the country and expands the reach of educational programs and sports support programs as a tool for social cohesion.
Creating Opportunities is the BBVA Group’s new tagline. After a decade, ‘Adelante’ is giving way to a new tagline that fits with the bank’s new purpose: To bring the age of opportunity to everyone. In this interview, Carlos Ricardo, the BBVA Group’s Marketing Director and Brand Director Carlos Pérez Beruete explain the process that led to the new tagline. It will also be accompanied by a new image, identity, sound and value proposition. “2017 will be the year that consumers clearly see how the bank has been transforming in recent years,” they say.
BBVA has a new tagline: Creating Opportunities. The bank will start using it in February and it will be progressively introduced in all countries, all communications to customers and all of BBVA’s printed and digital materials. BBVA’s new tagline sums up the bank’s purpose, launched a few months ago: “To bring the age of opportunity to everyone”
The 2017 business year will mark a turning point for Latin American economies, with an estimate growth of 1.3% for the region as a whole, compared to a 1.3% dip in 2016. This is what emerges from BBVA Research’s 4th Quarter Latin America Outlook report. The recovery, however, will be gradual and the region will remain well below potential growth, about 3%.
Soacha in Colombia receives 20-60 new families a week that are fleeing from the armed conflict that torments the country. In this context, the support of Bancamía (the entity of BBVA Microfinance Foundation in Colombia) to small entrepreneurs plays a key role in the area’s economic development. Francisco González, Chairman and CEO of BBVA, visited three of these small businesses and saw their work first hand.
Robo-advisors are becoming increasingly popular as a useful tool for making good financial decisions. The Colombian company Alkanza develops these automated services that use algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze millions of potential investments and provide users with the best options for ensuring profitability from the money they invest.
The new academic year has already begun and children are back to school. They are back to classes, books and breaks. However, this indispensable routine would only be a dream for many families were they to have no help. For this reason, BBVA has implemented several scholarship and education support programs that help countless children and young people experience their return to school like any other child and have the chance to complete their education.
The finalists of the 8th edition of the BBVA Open Talent contest were also announced today. They will compete in three separate finals in Mexico, London and New York in September.
Startup Musoni and its microfinance solution won the BBVA Open Talent 2016 special Financial Award. Musoni has developed a system that leverages technology to help financial institutions optimize their microfinance services, boost efficiency, improve cost-effectiveness and broaden their reach in rural areas where most of the population remains unbanked.
After a turbulent end of 2015 for Latin American emerging markets, fuelled by the collapse of commodity prices, the first half of 2016 has been quite different. Since January, investment funds operating in Latin America have reported solid profitability ratios, in many cases above 10%.