Measuring social impact, the key to the success of microfinance

Financial inclusion and how technology can be its ally were the main themes of the 13th Annual Global Microfinance Forum, an event attended by leading public and private microfinance investors, banks and development organizations from all over the world, and at which the BBVA Microfinance Foundation was present.

The institution highlighted the importance of measuring the progress of the entrepreneurs it serves so it can adapt to the needs of each one. Rodrigo Peláez, head of Measuring Impact and Development (MIDE) at the Foundation, took part in the panel “Future Challenges and how Microfinance will look in 10 years”, where he spoke about how essential these measurements are, and noted “the importance of integrating the measurement of social development into the digital transformation of microfinance and the governance structure of microfinance organizations”.


Rodrigo Peláez, at the 13th Microfinance Global Forum held in Prague

The study of each customer is a key aspect in determining their situation and their real needs at first hand, because this knowledge improves their results. According to Peláez: “This is an indispensable factor for the success [of microfinance] and its survival in the future”.

The panel, which featured personalities from the world of microfinance, discussed topics such as the sustainability of microfinance institutions, the importance of inclusion, and the influence of technology in the sector. These are also key aspects in reducing poverty levels, due to their impact on economic growth and because they facilitate access to financing by underprivileged segments of society. The BBVAMF brings financial services to the most vulnerable people so they can improve their lives through entrepreneurship.


An increasing number of institutions are opting to join the microfinance sector, and even more are working to develop new products that adapt to the needs of each customer. Numerous MFIs, banks, private investors and development organizations gather each year at this event–which on this occasion took place in the Czech Republic–, and at others such as the Annual SPTF Meeting 2017, which was attended a few days ago by Stephanie García Van Gool, also from the MIDE Department of the BBVAMF.

This annual event is organized by the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), and on this occasion brought together specialists in the microfinance sector in Switzerland. The meeting, covered issues related to microfinance investment funds, progress, the challenges and initiatives underway, and the coordination of efforts in the sector.

The BBVAMF has been part of the SPTF working groups since its beginnings. Last year it presented its system of social measurement and its results for 2015, showing once again that the purpose of this analysis is to gain greater knowledge into the customers and their needs in order to support them in the present and improve their future prospects through Productive Finance.