Spanish banking giant BBVA’s Microfinance Foundation has contributed some $4.7 million over the past two years to fund 1,200 small businesses in Puerto Rico, the bank said Monday in a communique.
BBVA launched its Microfinance Foundation in 2008 in collaboration with the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico, a project that has enabled the creation of 4,500 new enterprises.
The president of the Puerto Rico Microfinance Corporation, Annette Montoro, said the operation serves as a lending mechanism for strata of society with no access to conventional banking services.
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation operates not only in Puerto Rico but also in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
A non-profit created by the BBVA Group, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation serves 1.2 million people in Latin America.
Sixty percent of its clients are women, and 43 percent have daily incomes of less than $8. Since 2007 the foundation has granted loans amounting to some $3.3 billion.