Silver Entrepreneurs

People who fight to overcome their present situation and make their dreams come true by changing their own and their family’s future. This is the beginning of the report entitled “Stories of success against all odds” by Informe Semanal on the entrepreneurs served by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, broadcast by TVE in April 2016, and which has just won a Silver Globe at the World Media Festival in Hamburg. This is one of the most important communication awards worldwide, and–according to its organizers–the only one of its kind in Europe. It was started in the year 2000, and includes other categories in addition to television such as corporate film, and digital and print productions.

The report by Esteban Gómez and Teresa Pérez will receive the award next May 10 in the German city. It portrays the efforts of the BBVAMF entrepreneurs and their determination to advance both personally and financially and in the world of work. These small entrepreneurs provide wealth for their countries and are supported by the Foundation so they can create businesses to sustain them and allow them to escape their situation of vulnerability.

The program traveled to Colombia and the Dominican Republic to highlight the Foundation’s activity in the field; it supports women entrepreneurs, the fight for gender equality, economic development, and sustainable and inclusive growth of underprivileged individuals.

Andrés Garzón is one of them. A strawberry-grower, this entrepreneur relates how he began his business “with very little” and managed to improve his quality of life and that of his family. He did it thanks to Bancamía, the BBVAMF bank in Colombia which serves almost one million customers to whom it has given the opportunity to access financial services. Like him, Ivelisse Melenciano has seen her business grow thanks to Banco Adopem, the BBVAMF bank in the Dominican Republic. This entrepreneur is the owner of a food store, and explains how with barely any resources she has managed to create her own small business because, as she says, “If you really fight you can achieve anything”.

Others who share this view are Absalón Salas, owner of a small food store; Astrid Orjuela, milk producer and exporter; and Altagracia, proprietor of a small supermarket. These are all entrepreneurs who started out with nothing, and for whom these microloans served as a launchpad to help them overcome financial exclusion and become part of the more than 1.8 million entrepreneurs served by the BBVAMF in five countries in Latin America through its six microfinance institutions. This report is an accurate portrayal of the efforts of entrepreneurs and the mission of the Foundation, whose motto after ten years of activity is “to support people’s present and improve their future”–whether they may be gold, silver or bronze–, because everyone shares the value of having taken the decision to improve their lives, and then made it a reality.