For 30 years, BNP Paribas has been empowering entrepreneurs women to change the equation.
Explore these women’s stories.
A woman sees her determination rewarded
… and her plans take shape thanks to the help of BNP Paribas. She, who was discredited and fought every day to feed her hopes and her family, is finally given the opportunity to change the economic, social and environmental equation. A few years later, thousands of inspiring and determined women are committed to break their countries and communities’ social conventions to become strong and ambitious entrepreneurs.
This is the story of a Little Big Movement
A movement that spreads across continents with every passing year. This movement, which puts women in charge of their own destinies, continuously acts towards social and solidarity economy – values carried by BNP Paribas regarding its commitment to microfinance. With small local actions, we can achieve great things all around the world.
A few years later…
Microfinance development lead Dede to become a successful entrepreneur around Jakarta. She decided to leave her job in a farm in order to manage her own agricultural exploitation. She tripled her income and went from 3 $ to 15 $. Her daughter Miria followed her example by signing a similar loan. She explains that microcredit “helps women who did not have the opportunity to study, because the requirements to get a loan are not that high”.
A few months later…
In a slum in Calcutta, Saiqa accomplished a lot and she can be proud of it. This young woman was unemployed and living with her father and her brother. The Microfinance Institution Step gave her the opportunity to take sewing lessons for 3 € a month, for seven months. Since then, she used her first ever microloan to purchase a sewing machine. She now earns between 60 and 75 € a month, which allows her to live comfortably and save part of her income to help her family face potential financial challenges.
Solidarity, a pillar for equality.
Throughout Asia, Africa, South America and the USA, these women understand that their greatest strength is union. They choose to gather and help each other, sharing ambitions and risks. This unfailing proof of solidarity is mitigating the absence of material guarantees. They are now heard and fulfilled. Their ability to be entrepreneurs breaks clichés and prejudices. They gain access to a new status, allowing greater social and economic equality to happen, and their commitment becomes a fundamental value.
They emancipate. One only has to observe the thousands of groups of micro-entrepreneurs all around Asia’s villages and towns to understand its benefits.
Damaris, Grameen USA client, was able to create a family restaurant: “Grameen is the only place where I could get a loan and regularly meet other members of my community who were also trying to develop their business”.
Jemina, South Africa - MFI: SEF
« Thanks to my microloan, I can pay for my daughter’s school tuition. »
Individual aspirations. Common strength.
Through this solidarity momentum, it is an entire movement that rises, grows and takes shape, giving life to projects that were once abandoned and gaining ground over poverty, exclusion and limited education. This movement is the reason why Phuong, in Vietnam, can now take care of her children and grandchild that she raises on her own. Microfinance has freed her from the loan-sharks that were asking for tremendous daily interests.
Thanks to microfinance formations, Ana-Lucia, in Colombia, became aware of the environmental challenges we face as a society. As a result, she successfully made the transition to growing biological vegetables. In Ivory Coast, Yao Ahou built her banana shipping business from scratch. Today, she is in charge of distributing around 6,000 banana crates every month in Abidjan, Yamoussoukro and San Pedro.
Revealing common talents.
Behind this silent revolution, shattering conventions, are thousands of faces, stories and talents. Stories so successful that it drives more women to follow in their elders’ footsteps to express their own entrepreneur instinct. In the midst of a revolution – as quiet as it might be –, it is only when surrounded by people of trust that we can prevail over obstacles.
Beyond a common goal – obtaining a microloan without guarantees –, microfinance groups are reshaping society by connecting people, grouping experiences for a greater good and giving a new and inspiring representation of women in their villages and societies.
Rekha, India – MFI: Arohan
« Thanks to my microloan, I can work from home and take time for my child. »
Mimin, Indonesia – MFI: Kominda
« After my business grew, I recruited 5 women to help me. They all come from the community. »
When small actions turn into a big realisation
In total, for the past 30 years, 1.8 million women have benefited from a microloan across the world thanks to funding from BNP Paribas to MFI.