According to Migración Colombia, as of 30th of June, the country registered more than 1.76 million Venezuelan immigrants.
BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s Colombian institution, Bancamía and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), member of the World Bank Group, signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen the value offer of financial products and services to Venezuelan immigrants, especially to women, with the aim of helping them successfully be more integrated to the country’s economic and social life.
According to Migración Colombia, as of 30th of June, the country has registered more than 1.76 million Venezuelan immigrants. The collaboration between Bancamía and IFC, boosted by The Women Entrepreneur’s Finance Initiative (We-Fi), includes implementing tools during the outreach stage which help detect the needs, challenges, preferences, experiences and aspirations of these population segments when it comes to using financial services.
“As the result of this agreement, pilot programs will be developed, seeking to offer financial products and services designed specifically for Venezuelan immigrants. At the same time, these will help us assess whether they satisfy their needs during the outreach stage. Thanks to our physical and digital distribution channels, we will cover several cities where there is a larger concentration of Venezuelan immigrants. This will help us get an image of their needs and usage behavior”, declares Bancamía’s executive president, Miguel Ángel Charria Liévano.
For their part, IFC’s manager for the Andes region, Elizabeth Martínez de Marcano, noted the service that women will receive, “One of the most inspiring aspects of this agreement is its special focus on gender. Half of the new savings and credit accounts to be created within this project will be for women. In IFC, we are convinced that one of the best ways to promote immigrants’ financial inclusion is through women’s empowerment, something that would allow them to find a better horizon for them and their families, thanks to enterprising. We are honored and grateful for Bancamía for making us part of this collaboration in favor of immigrants.”
In the context of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, support for micro and small enterprises, especially those that are developed by women entrepreneurs, is crucial to advance the integration of immigrants in the country’s economic life. The project will be remotely executed in observance of the security measures implemented due to the pandemic.
IFC, (World Bank Group), works with the private sector to identify opportunities that benefit immigrants and their host communities in four facets: financial inclusion and enterprise development, delivery of basic services such as education and energy, establishment of policies that advance business creation and lesson learning shared with partners and stakeholders.
Up to date, Bancamía, the Colombian institute of BBVAMF, has served more than 3,800 Venezuelan immigrants: 42% of them work in the service sector, 35% in trade, 16% in processing and 7% in farming and livestock. This agreement entails one step ahead towards the Foundation and its six institutions’ purpose: the sustainable development of low-income entrepreneurs.