In 2020, BBVA allocated €79.1 million (55.6 percent of its total investment in social programs) to initiatives in support of education, knowledge and culture, benefiting 5.6 million people. In addition, over 2.2 million users accessed the content on education, science, culture and economics, which was provided by the bank through the digital platforms for its initiatives and programs. The BBVA Foundation and its activities also benefited 3.5 million people.
BBVA has upheld its commitment, continuing to promote inclusive growth and the creation of opportunities for people in 2020 through a variety of different initiatives in support of education, knowledge and culture. These initiatives have a direct impact on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, “quality education”1, SDG 9, “industry, innovation and infrastructure”; and SDG 11 “sustainable cities and communities”.
Education for society
In 2020, BBVA allocated €43 million - 30 percent of its social investment, to various initiatives designed to guarantee access to education, quality education, and the development of key skills for the 21st century. A total of 648,921 people benefited from these programs.
In the year of the pandemic, BBVA promoted access to education for vulnerable children and youth through scholarship programs in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, benefiting 67,573 children and youth. In addition, approximately 58,000 people received training through different initiatives - including those of BBVA and those offered in collaboration with other institutions - in the countries where BBVA has a presence. Some of the most notable are mentioned below.
Last year, BBVA partnered with Fundación Cimientos to provide quality education to economically vulnerable youth between the ages of 17 and 30 through the ‘Programa Red de Egresados’ (Alumni Network Program). The goal of this initiative is to support students accessing the job market with training and quality tools.
The scholarship program ‘Niños adelante’ (Children Moving Forward) promoted by BBVA in Colombia annually helps over 6,000 children from vulnerable communities, supporting them with financing for registration, uniforms and shoes. Furthermore, every year the bank provides over 40,000 backpacks with school supplies.
BBVA seeks to lead and drive the conversation around education in the 21st century through the initiative ‘Aprendemos juntos’ (We learn together). Established in January 2018, this project has trained 69,435 teachers and parents since its launch through its online courses. In the three years since it was first created, this project has been viewed 1.26 billion times, of which 546 million took place in 2020, building a community of four million people.
BBVA USA collaborates with various organizations in the education field to address the challenges in the public education system (for example, IDEA Public Schools) and helps to improve the quality of education, supporting the professional development of teachers (for example, Teach for America).
Since 2002, the BBVA Foundation Mexico’s BBVA Becas para Chavos que Inspiran’ (BBVA Scholarships for Inspiring Youth) has provided over 353,000 scholarships to vulnerable students from 32 states. In 2020, 5,000 new students were selected out of over 180,000 applicants to join this community that consists of more than 40,000 active scholarship recipients.
The program ‘Leer es estar adelante’ (Reading is getting ahead) aims to raise the level of reading comprehension among public school students in ten regions of the country. Since 2007, it has trained 4,375 teachers, with over 134,000 students from more than a thousand participating schools. In 2020, the content was created in digital format and the website ‘Leer en casa’ (Read at home) was launched with online pedagogical tools for teachers, students and the general public. Last year, this program, in which other companies also collaborate, reached a total of 6,588 beneficiaries.
In order to enhance their skills and offer quality education in classrooms, teachers receive support through training and access to new methodologies through ÖRAV, a non-profit organization founded by Garanti BBVA in 2008. In 2020, under the initiative Teachers without Borders and in coordination with Turkey’s Provincial Directorate of National Education, 15,000 teachers have benefited from the online workshops.
BBVA is collaborating with the program ‘EduCocina Para Todos’ (EduCooking for Everyone), which promotes the value of vegetable gardens and cooking as tools to learn entrepreneurial skills.
The BBVA Provincial Foundation’s Integration Scholarship Program works to prevent school drop-outs and promotes the social insertion of Venezuelan students through scholarships for students that attend secondary school. This initiative annually benefits 2,300 students in the country.
The BBVA Foundation develops education programs in Spain, among which the UPV/EHU-BBVA Foundation Sustainability Forum Summer Courses stands out. It is an open platform for debate, dissemination and training that was introduced in 2020. It aims to raise awareness of the major challenges related to sustainability from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Support for knowledge
In 2020, BBVA participated in the generation and dissemination of knowledge through the BBVA Foundation, BBVA Research, BBVA OpenMind and the Center for Financial Education and Capability, among other initiatives. More than four million people have accessed this content.
This organization foments the generation of knowledge and the promotion of science through research, spaces for knowledge, networking and awards. One of its most notable initiatives is the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, which recognize and incentivize research and the creation of a culture of excellence. A total of 3.59 million people benefited from its activities in 2020.
BBVA Research, a leader for economic research and analysis in various countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia, released 718 publications for shareholders, investors and the general public in 2020. Its economic studies, reports and analyses were read by 525,080 users.
BBVA’s online outreach community seeks to contribute to the generation and dissemination of knowledge on the fundamental issues of our time in an open and free manner. In 2020, it published 282 pieces of content (including articles, podcasts, videos and infographics) and its website received 13 million visits.
BBVA’s Center for Financial Education and Capability
Since its creation in 2017, the center has aimed to support and disseminate the latest trends in financial education, and to promote the generation of knowledge and research on this subject.
The BBVA EduFin Research Grants are designed for researchers, scholars, postgraduate students, universities and research institutions, think tanks, NGOs and research centers that work in the field of financial education and financial skills. In 2020, despite the crisis caused by the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the call for applications managed to increase its geographical scope and the number of proposals received.
BBVA has contributed €10 million to support culture in the countries where it has a presence, and also through the activities of the BBVA Foundation. In an especially difficult year, the work of the collaborating organizations stands out, as they sought to guarantee the public’s access to cultural content through digitization. A total of 1.4 million people were able to enjoy these initiatives in 2020.
Meanwhile, the BBVA Foundation continued to promote the creation of a culture of excellence. In particular, through concert series at its headquarters in Madrid and Bilbao; the ‘Becas Leonardo a Creadores Culturales’ (Leonardo Grants for Researchers and Cultural Creators); and the ‘Becas Multiverso a la Creación en Videoarte’ (Multiverso Grants for the Creation of Video Art). The foundation also collaborated with the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Joan Miró Foundation and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (through its digital program), as well as the Royal Theater, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, ABAO Bilbao Opera, the Madrid Symphony Orchestra and the Reina Sofia School of Music.