BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) and its institutions (MFIs) operating in five Latin American countries shared their best practices and lessons learned on how internet access and the use of digital tools not only boost financial inclusion, but also improve the businesses of the low-income women entrepreneurs that they accompany.
During one of the learning sessions hosted by the EQUALS Access Coalition —an initiative of the EQUALS Global Partnership— the Foundation alongside its MFIs showcased the digital programs and initiatives that accelerate the progress of their female clients. Some of these projects were already operating before the pandemic, but the health crisis has acted as a catalyst: in some cases, fostering their effectiveness and, in others, accelerating their uptake among clients.
The following lessons learned were highlighted in the session:
- Technology is a great ally to overcome financial exclusion barriers
- The importance of understanding women entrepreneurs’ digital profiles to design products and services tailored to their circumstances
- How fundamental it is to choose the distribution channels of digital tools to guarantee uptake and consumption
- How role models help women be more familiarized with technology
- How technology is a solid support for microfinance officers’ day to day routine
The work done by BBVAMF and its institutions is currently impacting more than 1.3 million women entrepreneurs accompanied through financial products and services and advice, all adapted to their needs. However, there is still a long way to go and as a leading microfinance institutions group, the Foundation continues striving to better serve this segment, who are traditionally excluded from the formal financial system.
The new reality, framed by a global pandemic, has only strengthened BBVAMF’s commitment to facilitating access and connectivity among low-income women in Latin America, and thus promoting sustainable development in the region, leaving no one behind.
*Click here to watch the session.
Launched in 2016 by the International Telecommunication Union and four founding partners – GSMA, the International Trade Centre, the United Nations University and UN Women –EQUALS contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Agenda through actions and evidence-based research aimed at closing the global gender digital divide.