Microfinanzas PR grants credits worth over $2 million to disadvantaged entrepreneurs of Puerto Rico

San Juan, 24 february 2012.- Microfinanzas Puerto Rico, an entity part of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, has granted credits worth US$ 2.1 million to disadvantaged entrepreneurs of the island for the development of their existing productive activities, since the beginning of its commercial activity in September 2010 (data at closure of 2011).

Microfinanzas PR specializes in Productive Finances – financial products and services oriented to the development and consolidation of businesses belonging to people who are in a position of disadvantage and have no access to the conventional financial system in the island.

By the closure of 2011, Microfinanzas PR had granted 790 loans, at an average of US$ 2,600 each. Of all the productive activities concerned, 56% related to the sector of commerce, 32% to services and 12% to manufacturing. The most frequent productive activities were: direct sales, handicraft, refreshment and grocery stores, motor vehicles service, beauty parlors and fruit or vegetable trade.

Equally, by the end of 2011, Microfinanzas PR attended 719 clients, 53% of them females between 35 and 65 years of age, and was present through its activity in every region of the island.

By means of a specialized methodology, Microfinanzas PR grants credits ranging from $500 up to $15,000 to established microentrepeneurs, for their investments in work capital, machinery or equipment. In contrast with other financial entities, Maicrofinanzas PR practices a “relational banking”, where the executive staff visits the different communities and businesses, providing personalized evaluations and holding the relationship with the client as a fundamental part of the process.

According to the President of Microfinanzas PR, Mrs. Annette Montoto, sustainability is a key element for the entity and therefore: “In order to grant credits, we analyze the viability of the entrepreneurs’ projects and, when they are sustainable, we support them. Apart from granting loans, our experts in microfinance provide a full, comprehensive service which includes giving advice and backing the businesses”.

“With our activity, we enable the economic, social and sustainable development of our clients, contributing to the growth of productive networks, job creation and the social progress of Puerto Rico”, remarks Montoto.

Strategic alliances: Universidad del Este and Fundación Comunitaria

Microfinanzas Puerto Rico faces the task with a cooperative approach, undertaking strategic alliances with other entities and institutions operating in the business-related fields. Recently, it has signed an alliance with Universidad del Este aiming to grant microcredits to support the productive activities of students and residents in all those municipalities – and nearby communities around the island – wherein their university centres are located.

Similarly, Microfinanzas PR has signed another alliance with Fundación Comunitaria, an entity which comprises different non-profitable institutions that provide training, technical support and general assistance to the productive activities of the members of those communities wherein they are present.