Financial Inclusion of Rural Women in Latin America. The work of BBVAMF

Rural women face multiple obstacles that hinder their progress and limit their potential. They lack access to productive resources and constantly struggle with legal obstacles, technological scarcity, scant financial services and insufficient capacity building, says BBVA Microfinance Foundation Head of Women Empowerment, Laura Fernandez Lord, in a formal statement submitted to the United Nations prior to the CSW 62. The Commission on the Status of Women, the most important annual event organized by UN Women, will take place in March where the BBVAMF, in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will participate for the second consecutive year.


It is more challenging to deliver financial services to rural women, yet by the end of 2016, females accounted for 49% of the Foundation’s rural clients. In fact, 36% of the rural women entrepreneurs whose households were classified as poor or extremely poor at the outset overcome poverty after only two years with the Foundation. This underpins BBVAMF’s mission to foster inclusive social and economic development, as it becomes essential to remove all discrimination regarding women’s access to productive resources. Only by doing so, could they develop productive activities, be empowered and effectively contribute to reducing poverty levels- creating a ripple effect that benefits the entire population.

The BBVAMF supports rural women entrepreneurs and as described in the statement, specific services have been designed to meet their needs and increase outreach. Furthermore, technology and alternative distribution channels are being used to reduce transactions costs derived from travelling to different branch offices.

Statement by BBVAMF