The bank helps entrepreneurs in the neediest sectors by providing microfinance services so they can improve their living conditions and those of their families by enhancing their businesses and achieve their dreams. On October 3 it celebrates its 14th anniversary.
Fondo Esperanza currently serves over 100,000 entrepreneurs, of whom 59% belong to the most vulnerable 20% of Chilean society. 84% of the entrepreneurs it supports are women –the majority heads of household–, who are looking to generate income, gain economic independence and ensure better opportunities for their children.
The microfinance service provided by the institution is vital to their performance. This takes the form of microloans (with an individual and group methodology), training, microinsurance and networks focused on sectors without access to formal banking services and in excluded segments of society.
Mario Pavón, general manager of Fondo Esperanza, highlighted the bank’s valuable work throughout its 14 years of existence, in which it has witnessed great stories of life experiences and entrepreneurship. “We work together with over 100,000 entrepreneurs. With them we have gradually learned more about their needs and promoted their values in order to contribute to the economic development of their businesses, help them in their lives, and in turn help each of the 247 communities where Fondo Esperanza is present”, he said.
According to the measurement by the FE Social Performance Management System (2015), which assesses the impact Fondo Esperanza has had on each entrepreneur in different development areas, the bank’s customers see an average 20% improvement in their company’s performance, their family’s well-being, and their empowerment and social capital.
The sales of their businesses increase by 70%. Additionally, 12% of the entrepreneurs have created employment for other people, generating over 25,000 jobs.
According to the Results Report: Chilean Companies (2015) from the Ministry of Economy, half of all companies in the microenterprise segment are family owned, and this is the segment that is targeted and promoted by Fondo Esperanza. The development of these entrepreneurs’ businesses drives growth in each region and generates employment throughout the country.