Fondo Esperanza SpA, a new microfinance entity, created to support low-income entrepreneurs in Chile

  • Fondo Esperanza SpA will be a leader in the Chilean microfinance sector using community banking methodology.
  • The goal is to provide the low-income population that does not have access to the conventional financial system with the financial products and services they need to develop their economic activities.
  • The new enterprise currently supports 42,000 entrepreneurs and has a network of 30 branches. It is owned by BBVA Microfinance Foundation, with a 51% stake, and Fondo Esperanza with 49%.

The new microfinance entity “Fondo Esperanza SpA” was constituted today following an agreement reached in January between the BBVA Microfinance Foundation and Fondo Esperanza to transfer the assets and liabilities of the former Fondo Esperanza to the new company.

The new company, Fondo Esperanza SpA will support the entrepreneurship of Chileans in vulnerable sectors through financial services, deposits and networks, with the aim of improving their living conditions, and those of their families and communities.

Fondo Esperanza SpA will be a leading player in the Chilean microfinance sector. It will use the methodology of communal banking, based on groups of between 18 and 25 people who live in the same area and join forces to obtain microcredits, which will later be extended by individual loans.

The new entity has a capital of over USD 20 million, and a base of 42,000 company owners (87% women). It is present in 140 municipal areas in the country, with 30 branches located from Iquique to Chiloé.

Manuel Méndez del Río Piovich, the chairman of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, explained: “With the creation and start-up of Fondo Esperanza SpA we expect to service 100,000 customers over the next four years and create an extensive national coverage to the most vulnerable zones and sectors of the Chilean population.

“The Foundation is therefore providing the capital and resources to ensure Fondo Esperanza’s sustainability, as well as contributing its microfinance knowledge and experience to boost its growth and expansion so that it can serve more people with more and better products,” he added.

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation has a 51% stake in Fondo Esperanza SpA, with the remaining 49% being held by Fondo Esperanza. It has been set up under criteria of self-sufficiency and sustainability, and any profits generated will be reinvested to enhance and develop its activity and strengthen its capital base.

The managing board of the entity is made up of Manuel Méndez de Río Piovich as Chairman, Luciano Magnet as Deputy Chairman and Jorge Cruz, Ramón Feijóo, Andrés Silva, Cristian Barros and Susana Tonda as directors.

855,000 customers in Latin America

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation is a not-for-profit entity created in May 2007, independent of BBVA Group, to boost the sustainable economic and social development of disadvantaged people in society through access to productive microfinance.

With the constitution of Fondo Esperanza SpA and the presence of Servicios Microfinancieros in Chile, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation has consolidated its expansion plans in Latin America: in Colombia it operates through Banco de las Microfinanzas Bancamía; in Peru through Caja Nuestra Gente and Financiera Confianza; in Puerto Rico through Corporación para las Microfinanzas; in Argentina through Servicios Microfinancieros S.A; and in Panama through Microserfin.