In “The Future of Microfinance”, Claudio González-Vega reviews the building blocks of BBVAMF, who not only seeks to improve the lives of people under vulnerable conditions through its MFIs, but also aims to be a sector reference to contribute to poverty reduction and to end inequality.
Before the COVID-19 virus struck, the future of microfinance depended on the sector’s ability for product diversification, incorporation of digital channels and how far it could implement models that prevent over-indebtedness and contribute to a broader and deeper poverty reduction. However, the pandemic has provoked a shift in priorities, and at present, as people’s health is guaranteed, the time has come to protect the resources and capabilities of microfinance institutions, as well as to preserve their value so that they can continue with their labor.
This is the vision shared by Ira W. Lieberman and Paul Dileo, microfinance experts and two of the editors of “The Future of Microfinance”, recently published by the prestigious American think tank, Brookings. The book features 16 chapters and the opinion of 34 experts about the sector’s global achievements and challenges, ranging from sustainability to new digital models.
In one of the chapters, Claudio González-Vega, trustee of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, writes about BBVAMF’s 13-year experience leading this sector in Latin America.
Starting off with one of the main thesis of Nobel laureate Angus Deaton, who was the keynote speaker during the Foundation’s 10th Anniversary, González-Vega uncovers the kind of knowledge applied in microfinance management, particularly that of the BBVAMF. On one hand, he notes the availability of the nearly two-century experience of BBVA, which created the Foundation, to be able to serve financially excluded segments. On the other hand, he points out BBVAMF’s role as the intermediary between the bank and its institutions (MFIs), who develop tools oriented to comply with its social purpose.
Added to these is the local know-how of the Foundation’s six MFIs in five Latin American countries, acquired not only through experience, but also thanks to partnerships that allow a wider scale and outreach. Lastly, the 2.3 million plus entrepreneurs served by the BBVAMF are a valuable source of learnings, given their capacity to innovate and the very nature of their businesses.
Claudio González-Vega also talks about the structure that the Foundation has implemented to facilitate information flow, essential for the accomplishment of its purpose: to foster the development of low-income entrepreneurs.
In “The Future of Microfinance”, this renowned microfinance expert reviews the building blocks of BBVAMF, an organization which not only seeks to improve the lives of people under vulnerable conditions through its MFIs, but also aims to be a sector reference to contribute to poverty reduction and to end inequality.