“DIME is not just an internship program, it’s a life-changing experience”
Until the 19th of February, Spanish students (enrolled in a bachelor’s degree or a master’s program) can submit their application for the 3rd edition of the Development, Inclusion, Microfinance and Entrepreneurship scholarship (DIME), a BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) initiative. This summer, between the months of July and August, 15 students will be chosen to travel to one of the five Latin American countries where the Foundation is present (Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic and Panama), to learn more about the reality of the 2.2 million people in the region served by BBVAMF using Productive Finance.
This program runs for four weeks and is divided into two phases: during the first week, the interns (three for each country) will visit the central offices of their designated institution and will receive training before entering the second phase, which is field work. For the following three weeks, they will accompany a microfinance officer while they visit entrepreneurs to evaluate their businesses, as well as to promote financial products and services tailored to their needs, and to witness how the credit cycle works, such as the approval and follow-up processes.
A benchmark internship in development
Fifteen interns have already been part of BBVAMF’s DIME program, which was created in 2018 as an “experiential” project, allowing them to be first-hand witnesses of a microfinance model developed by a leading group in Latin America, as they learn more about the reality of the entrepreneurs it serves: examples of perseverance and determination. “I saw dedication, passion and sacrifice, in both the entrepreneurs and employees, and they’ve inspired me to have the same attitude in my job”, shared one of the alumni who travelled to Colombia. Another student who went to Chile commented, “The entrepreneurs have taught us a lesson on humanity, on how to overcome problems and to try and improve day by day, to fight for a decent life and to achieve your goals.” Lastly, one of the interns who was in Peru concludes, “DIME is not just an internship program, it’s life-changing experience.”
BBVA created the BBVAMF in 2007, to put its banking experience at the service of people excluded from the financial system. BBVAMF was recently acknowledged by the OECD as second-leading foundation in financing for development, next only to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.