Carlos Torres Vila, in Davos: “BBVA Microfinance Foundation has had an impact on the lives of over 10 million people in the last two years”

17 January 2023

Carlos Torres Vila has announced at the Davos World Economic Forum that in the last two years “the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) has impacted over 10 million people in low-income communities”, during his speech at the annual meeting of EDISON, a partnership promoted by this Forum to speed up universal access to digitalization, with particular focus on financial inclusion, education, and health.

Since 2021, BBVAMF has served 3.3 million low-income entrepreneurs in the poorest areas of Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Chile and Panama through its microfinance institutions, disbursing over EUR 2.3 billion to finance the progress of these entrepreneurs and that of their families; when the latter are counted, the institution has had an impact on 10.9 million people.

Furthermore, the BBVA chair explained that most of these entrepreneurs, 1.9 million of them, are women, accounting for 58%. He also stressed the importance of supporting them, given that they endure higher levels of vulnerability and make a larger contribution to their families’ well-being.

BBVA chair, Carlos Torres Vila.

Latest World Economic Forum report highlights BBVAMF’s educational platforms

A few days before the start of its annual meeting in Davos, the World Economic Forum has published a new white paper: “Digital Transition Framework: An action plan for public-private collaboration”, which highlights the educational digital platforms, open and free of charge, run by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s institutions.

Gabriela Eguidazu, head of Innovation & Inclusive Growth at BBVAMF, is one of the experts consulted by the World Economic Forum to draw up this action plan for digital transition that lays out concrete and practical examples of proven efficiency.

“The Foundation is committed to poor and vulnerable people excluded from the financial system. We are working to become more innovative and offer them value, with products and services that have been adapted to their needs. These open digital platforms, that are free of charge, are designed for low-income entrepreneurs, for whom training in financial education, business management and digital marketing is particularly important,” explained Eguidazu.

A third of the population still has no internet connection

A third of the world’s population, 2.7 billion people, are still not connected to the internet, according to the most recent data published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations (UN) institution that oversees information technologies. “And the poorer the entrepreneurs, the wider the digital gap, creating another obstacle and factor of inequality in access to opportunities. That is why the Foundation is driving the digital transformation of microfinance institutions with the use of new technologies that we make available to our 3 million entrepreneurs”, adds the head of Innovation & Inclusive Growth.

BBVA Microfinance Foundation is a non-profit institution set up in 2007 by BBVA as part of its corporate social responsibility remit, to support people in vulnerability. It is the leading foundation in contribution to development in Latin America and the second in the world, according to the latest figures published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD).