MicroBank, CaixaBank’s social bank (Spain), has celebrated its 15th anniversary with an event aimed at celebrating all the people and companies that have helped position the company as a European benchmark in micro-finance. Throughout these 15 years, MicroBank has consolidated itself as a key player in financial inclusion and financing with a social impact.
Juan Carlos Gallego, Chairman of the company, underlined the importance of MicroBank’s activity model, in which “CaixaBank, customers, and an extensive network of collaborating social entities, together with the main European institutions engaged in promoting entrepreneurship, are the key enablers that allow MicroBank to keep “making big things” as stated in our anniversary’s slogan”.
MicroBank’s Managing Director, Cristina González, went over the main milestones reached by the company since its incorporation and emphasised that, to this date, the company has financed over €8 billion in almost 1.3 million social projects in Spain. Of these, more than €7.7 billion were microloans mainly destined to specific needs of families, in addition to those granted to launch or consolidate businesses of entrepreneurs and microenterprises.
Cristina González also highlighted MicroBank’s contribution to employment creation throughout its 15 years of existence, with the creation of approximately 300,000 direct jobs through businesses and self-employed workers who received financial support from the company. With respect to the specific lines of social financing, which have been created more recently, 19,800 projects worth €722 million and involving social economy, education, innovation and health have been materialised thanks to MicroBank.
MicroBank’s Chairman also went over the company’s outlook. Within the framework of its 2022-2024 Strategic Plan, it expects to grant a total of €3.5 billion in social financing to both families and entrepreneurs, 36% more than in the previous Strategic Plan, thus exceeding 400,000 beneficiaries.
MicroBank’s 15th anniversary’s ceremony was attended by Jaume Masana, Head of Business at CaixaBank, who confirmed that “MicroBank is a key element of CaixaBank and the commitment that we have taken on towards promoting financial inclusion and fostering the country’s socioeconomic development through facilitating access to credit to the most vulnerable groups. We are very proud of the work carried out in these 15 years, and we will intensify our effort in continuing along this path by closely supporting our customers and society in anything they need.”
Nicolas Panayotopoulos, Secretary General of the European Investment Fund (EIF), also attended online, expressing his satisfaction with the results achieved by MicroBank throughout its history and showing confidence in continuing to provide all his support to the company in continuing to contribute to the generation of wealth and well-being.
A roundtable was organised with Andrea Martín, an entrepreneur who presented her project Splah Baby Spa, which is based on a method of aquatic stimulation for newborns and which received MicroBank’s financial support. During the presentation, she was accompanied by Sarai Aranda, employment technician at Fundación PIMEC, who provided all the support required to design her business plan, and by Francisco Carbajo, business manager at CaixaBank Office Store Sant Joan Despí, who granted the microloan to Andrea to launch the project. They all relayed the importance of the commitment of and close collaboration between the collaborating entities, MicroBank and the CaixaBank network, which is geared towards providing support to anyone who decides to start a business.
With the aim of acknowledging the merit of these entrepreneurs, during the 15th anniversary ceremony, MicroBank awarded the prize for the initiative granted a microloan that has generated the most social impact to the project Tecum, a multimedia platform for dissemination and support to the deaf community, which was launched by the entrepreneur from Murcia Blanca Romá.
The event ended with the participation of Kryzmarlem Peraza and Luisana Gines, both entrepreneurs and initiators of the bakery Wonder Cakes Barcelona & Laralala Dulces, who appreciated the financial support received by MicroBank in launching their business.
Promoting financial inclusion
MicroBank offers solutions to different groups of the population whose financial needs are not sufficiently met. It has a crucial role in the Sustainable Banking Plan, which is part of CaixaBank’s new Strategic Plan, with MicroBank promoting financial inclusion by providing vulnerable groups access to loans, as well as enhancing its commitment to the country’s socioeconomic development.
As the sole shareholder of MicroBank, CaixaBank has supported its social bank since its creation by giving it the funding required to grow its lending activity while marketing MicroBank products through CaixaBank’s extensive commercial network. This is undertaken with the aim of offering customers its entire range of products with the highest possible quality of service and the best possible relationship.
More than 290 entities throughout Spain actively collaborate in the granting of loans, with entities that provide knowledge on the recipients of the loans, and that also advise and follow up on the projects.
MicroBank also relies on the support of Europe’s leading institutions when it comes to promoting enterprise and microfinance, namely the European Investment Fund (EIF), the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).