The BBVA Microfinance Foundation, through Bancamía, serves more than 1 million low-income entrepreneurs in Colombia, who improve their lives and that of their families thanks to small businesses.
80% of the clients across the country are considered economically vulnerable, where 54% are women, 44% live in rural areas and 50% possess primary education at best.
This information is compiled in the Foundation’s 2018 Social Performance Report “Measuring what really matters”, presented today at BBVA’s headquarters in Colombia. The said report shows the results from a single model for social impact measurement used to analyze client and business development.
“At BBVAMF, we use data as a guide towards accomplishing our mission from which we don’t divert, and it also helps us achieve our objective: the economic and social development of entrepreneurs. Social impact measurement allows us to determine whether we are on the right path”, explained head of Impact Assessment and Strategic Development, Isabel García during the report’s presentation.
“The business sales and net incomes increase at 12% and 10% respectively, but the highest boost can be observed in the evolution of assets, which grows at 20% (compound annual growth rate). We verified that clients’ businesses have presented two-digit growths”, shared Isabel García
Bancamía facilitates access to financial products and services to microentrepreneurs, who, due to their economic, social and geographic situations, have been traditionally excluded from the formal banking system. The microfinance institution (MFI) has a firm purpose to accompany them in their search for their well-being.
The Social Performance report evaluates whether clients are improving their standards of living. 12% of the entrepreneurs abandon poverty after two years of working with the MFI. Additionally, one out of two clients who has renewed a loan during the past year saw their incomes grow. And by the end of the fifth loan, 82% of poor clients have managed to earn incomes above the poverty threshold. 52% have done the same, only in a more permanent way.
Working for women’s empowerment
One of the participants in the presentation was Angélica Valbuena, a female rural entrepreneur and head of household, started running an organic vegetable business in Ubaté (Cundinamarca). Entitled “The role of microfinance in women’s empowerment”, she shared how Bancamía’s support gave her the chance to implement climate change adaptation measures, and also allowed her to overcome barriers like gender inequality and not having collateral to be able to access a loan. “Had I known that this could be done alone, without a man, I would’ve started a long time ago. You have to be confident, love yourself a little bit more and believe in yourself, because the MFI did believe in me”, she explained.
54% of clients with loans from Bancamía are women, 47% of them have primary education at best, and more than 35% live in rural areas. 30% of the Colombian women served by BBVAMF live below the national poverty line and 37% live alone with at least one dependent under their charge.
“Microfinance should contribute to close gender gaps when it comes to economic growth experienced by women. In this journey, in Bancamía and the Foundation, we are already developing distinctive insurance products, like a healthcare policy that covers breast or ovary cancer, as well as support, that would allow our female clients to have psychological, legal and emotional assistance, medical guidance or preventive checkups”, confirmed Miguel Ángel Charria Liévano, executive president for Bancamía.