“Heroes”, an interactive experience that shows the social work of microfinance

“Heroes” is a game that shows the daily lives of the entrepreneurs served by the Foundation, for the purpose of training loan offiers and teachhing them how to help clients prosper

24 January 2019
Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA

Every day, over 4,000 BBVA Microfinance Foundation Group (BBVAMF) employees visit low-income entrepreneurs’ home-based enterprises to offer advice and help them get on. A reality that is simulated in “Heroes”, an interactive training experience for those joining the Group and at the same time reinforces the social purpose of the Foundation, which serves more than two million people across five countries in Latin America.

The program is gaming-based, a technique that uses gaming to make learning more attractive, while increasing its efficiency. According to Gartner technology consultants, 70% of the organizations in the Forbes Global 2000 already use this trend in some of their processes. The report also forecasts that over the next few years, 50% of the innovation-related processes in companies will include game-based learning.

This is why the Foundation is investing in this technique as part of its commitment to social innovation to reach more people: to serve them better and more efficiently. “Heroes” is its second game-based training project, after “Simón’”, an app that teaches how to improve team management skills and was chosen as one of the most innovative social initiatives of its day by CAF Development Bank of Latin America.

“After our experience with ‘Simón’, we have once again opted for this method, but with a more complex, more ambitious project: we went to Colombia to film a female entrepreneur whom we serve, whose business is home-based, in order to make the experience as real as possible”, explains Fabián Goldberg, who is in charge of training at the BBVA Microfinance Foundation.

We want the people who join the Group to feel and experience what we do and for them to experience our clients’ daily lives”

“We want the people who join the Group to feel and experience what we do and for them to experience our clients’ daily lives. All of that, but in a shorter period, in an innovative way, and without leaving a screen,” he says. Every year, around 1,700 people join the BBVA Microfinance Foundation Group, made up of six microfinance institutions and currently employs over 8,000 people.

A rural female entrepreneur, main protagonist of “Heroes”

Alicia lives in the countryside with her husband and her son. Her business –a small grocery store– is her family’s main source of income. Users start the game by putting themselves in the position of this entrepreneur to understand her reality and then,  jump in the role of a Foundation Loan Officer. Players have to take several decisions, mentoring Alicia as she progresses.

Six different scenarios enable the player to learn about BBVAMF’s key values and its methodology, Productive Finance. For example, they are taught how important it is to listen to entrepreneurs, how to help them avoid over-indebtedness, how to encourage them to save, how to put clients’ interests before their own, and how to provide continued financial education. The game also teaches them how to better organize their daily work schedules to be more efficient and how to integrate technology into their daily routine.

“As part of our commitment to the sector’s development, the idea is to make “Heroes” accessible to everyone who is interested in microfinance”, concludes the project head.