Women were at the spotlight during the presentation of BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s (BBVAMF) 2018 Social Performance Report “Measuring what really matters”, in Peru. Its local microfinance institution (MFI), Financiera Cofianza, supports low-income entrepreneurs living under vulnerable conditions. Among the topics discussed was the importance of pushing different measures to help female entrepreneurs access the financial system.
The report points out that the MFI, which is present across the country, has served more than 85,000 new clients during the past year, out of which 75% are economically vulnerable, 53% are women, and 27% live in rural areas.
One of the more interesting conclusions is that out of all the entrepreneurs that have been inserted in the formal financial system in 2018, more than half are women, mostly members of the group lending program “Palabra de Mujer” (Woman’s Word), mainly oriented to more vulnerable groups.
According to the report, 19% of the clients who were poor when they joined Financiera Confianza, crossed the poverty threshold after two years of working with the institution. All of this thanks to their daily struggle to progress, together with the personalized attention they receive from their loan officers.
“We’re on the right track. As a reference in the Peruvian microfinance sector, we reach more than 524,000 people without being distracted from our mission: the economic and social development of vulnerable people whose livelihoods depend on productive activities”, shared the Financiera Confianza’s general manager, Luis Germán Linares. “In a country with a high level of financial exclusion, we remain true to our purpose: 36% of the entrepreneurs we serve didn’t have previous experience in the formal financial system, and 27% of them live in rural areas”, he added, after noting that 31% of the clients supported by the MFI create at least one job post.
“We use data to guide our journey, so we wouldn’t get side-tracked from our mission and we can achieve our objective as fast as possible””
BBVAMF, present in 5 Latin American countries, has developed its own social performance assessment system. “We use data to guide our journey, so we wouldn’t get side-tracked from our mission and we can achieve our objective as fast as possible”, shared the Foundation’s head of Impact Assessment and Strategic Development, Isabel García.
For his part, Fernando Equiluz, CEO for BBVA Peru, also highlighted Financiera Confianza’s milestone as the first MFI with a nationwide presence in 25 departments. He said that, “More than 70% of the clients served in 2018 are under vulnerable situations”, proving BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s drive to reach the most excluded segments of the country.
Financiera Confianza renews its commitment to the most vulnerable families of Peru and amis to continue closing gender gaps, in a country where there are still 16.6 percentage points of difference in financial inclusion between men and women.