Some of the tasks facing the microfinance sector in Chile include raising the visibility of this group of entrepreneurs in need of funding, and dispelling the myth that low-income individuals have a poor debt repayment record. A panel of specialists from all over the country analyzed this complex but encouraging situation within the framework of the International Festival of Social Innovation (FIIS) 2014, in which Fondo Esperanza took part.
These millions of entrepreneurs are a vital part of Chile’s economic system, to the extent that they represent 46% of the productive force that drives the country. However, many of them come up against obstacles when developing their businesses.
Representatives from five institutions that provide financial services for people seeking capital to invest in their businesses analyzed the current scenario in the microfinance sector at the International Festival of Social Innovation (FIIS) 2014.
Mario Pavón, the general manager of Fondo Esperanza, highlighted the need to dispel several of the misconceptions about these entrepreneurs. “It’s simply not true that people with fewer resources are bad repayers. In our bank 99% of our customers meet their repayment commitments, so we can guarantee they do pay off their debts”, he declared. He went on to say: “Some banks are unaware of this fact, as there is very little information available on this sector”.
Emilio Vélez, general manager of BancoEstado Microempresas, indicated that another of the barriers affecting entrepreneurs is that the model of institutions that provide microfinance services is very costly. In other words, very few organizations could be viable in such a complex and competitive scenario.
In this encounter the experts all agreed that one goal is to create a collaborative project between all the institutions granting productive microcredits (Fondo Esperanza, BancoEstado Microempresas, Emprende Microfinanzas and Banigualdad) in Chile in order to align and articulate them more effectively. They also noted the need for these institutions to have greater influence on public policy, with a view to generating a regulatory framework for this field.