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BBVA Microfinance Foundation gets U.N. award

(From left:) Microfinanzas Puerto Rico President Annette Montoto-Terrassa and Manuel Mendeaz del Río-Piovich, chairman of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation.

The Principles for Social Investment Secretariat and United Nations Global Compact have distinguished BBVA with the “Social Investment Pioneers Award” in the category of Social Business, for its contribution to the communities in which it operates through the BBVA Microfinance Foundation project.

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation has contributed more than $4.7 million to Puerto Rico since 2008, in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank as a minority partner, to establish Microfinanzas Puerto Rico, a financial institution that has helped 1,200 microentrepreneurs and impacted more than 4,500 people in the past two years.

In selecting the organization for the award, the jury established the value of the “awesome” scale and success the BBVA Microfinance Foundation has reached in Latin America in just five years of activity, as well as its plans for growth and expansion into other markets in the region.

“Microfinanzas Puerto Rico is proud to be part of such a prestigious and committed group of microfinance institutions in each country where we operate we contribute to its socioeconomic development, through productive finance, thereby improving the quality of life of our entrepreneurs in the country’s most disadvantaged strata,” said organization President Annette Montoto-Terrassa, a former EDB president.

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in 2007 independently from the BBVA Group as part of its corporate responsibility program, which aims to promote economic and social development of the most disadvantaged in society who lack access to mainstream financial services, to which it offers products and services for productive activities.

At present, the Foundation is present in seven territories in Latin America through nine microfinancing entities: Microfinanzas (Puerto Rico); Bancamía (Colombia); Caja Nuestra Gente and Financiera Confianza, which are currently merging (Perú); Fondo Esperanza y Emprende Microfinanzas (Chile); Contigo Microfinanzas (Argentina); Microserfin (Panamá); and Banco Adopem (Dominican Republic).

Through these entities, the Foundation serves more than 1.2 million people in Latin America, which is directly impacting the lives of 4.5 million people. About 60 percent of clients are women, and 43 percent have incomes of less than $8 a day. Since its inception in May 2007, the Foundation has provided loans amounting to $3.3 billion in cumulative terms, and is now the leading operator in terms of portfolio and number of clients in Latin America.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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