BBVAMF and IDB will train specialists in microfinance and will promote good corporate governance in Latin American microfinance institutions

12 March 2009
  • This morning, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank have subscribed a collaboration agreement.
  • The agreement contemplates training 5,700 credit managers specialising in microfinance in ten countries and the drafting and publication of a good practice manual for the microfinance sector in Latin America.
  • The project will be undertaken in Peru, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, amongst others.
  • The aim is that microfinance institutions shall be able to cater for the demand of low-income entrepreneurs, both in terms of quantity and quality.
  • 85% of Latin America’s low-income entrepreneurs have no access to the conventional financial system.

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today signed a collaboration agreement to develop human capital and the capacity of microfinance institutions in Latin America by training credit managers specialising in microfinance and by enhancing their corporate government structures.

This collaboration will take a two-pronged approach: On the one hand, the qualification of credit officers specialising in microfinance in ten countries, which will be undertaken via a training scheme, delivered on-line or in-house in collaboration with the UNED (Spain’s National Distance Learning University) and a local university in each country. This scheme will enable training to be provided for 5,700 people over a four-year period, and it will be accompanied by paid work placements in institutions belonging to the Foundation’s Microfinance Network.

The second line of action will be to enhance good governance in microfinance institutions, for which a manual of good practices in corporate governance will be drawn up and distributed, and training will be provided for 500 members of steering committees from microfinance institutions in the region. To draw up the manual, a microfinance think-tank will be selected from among internationally recognised experts, which will initially draft a report on good corporate governance in the microfinance sector. This will then be validated in an international microfinance forum to be held with the industry’s different stakeholders.

For the Chairman of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, Manuel Méndez del Río, “the project aims to give a specific, practical response to the scarcity of credit managers specialising in microfinance, and to the weakness of corporate governance systems in microfinance institutions. Issues which are essential we overcome in order to achieve the sound expansion with sufficient capacity the sector requires to appropriately fulfil its social mission – financial and social inclusion of low-income earners in the region.”

For Fernando Jiménez-Ontiveros, general manager of the Multilateral Mutual Fund (FOMIN, in Spanish), “it is an initiative that will produce considerable added value for the microfinance industry in Latin America, because it will contribute to the development of microfinance, satisfying the current and future demand for professionals, and enhancing and informing about good corporate governance practices.”

BBVA Microfinance Foundation

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation whose vision is to make it viable to provide products and services at the base of the pyramid, creating financial institutions that can address unsatisfied demand in the financially excluded population in a sustainable way.  The Foundation is currently present in Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico and through its institutions it attends 350,000 low-income customers, 60% of whom are women.


The IDB is a multilateral body, the main source of multilateral funding and expertise for sustainable economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB works directly with the countries involved to fight poverty and foster social equality through schemes specifically adapted to the local environment and circumstances. The IDB Group is formed by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Multilateral Mutual Fund (FOMIN). FOMIN promotes private sector growth by donations and investments, placing emphasis on microenterprises.