More than half of Spaniards (56%) are committed to creating their own business, according to the Study on the aspirations and professional fears of the Spanish population, Made by the Ionos company. Self-employment, confessed 57% of those surveyed, would bring them more happiness than continuing to work for someone else. These data are confirmed by the report August 2020, Made by Amway. Four out of ten interviewees consider that starting a business is a very attractive opportunity; so much so that they would put it into practice immediately or in the near future.
Despite these good intentions, the levels of entrepreneurship in Spain are far from those shown by other countries, both in Europe and in the rest of the world. The percentage of people who got involved in business initiatives in 2021 reached a meager 5.5%, according to the GEM Spain Report 2021-2022, Prepared by the Entrepreneurship Observatory of Spain (RED GEM Spain) and Enisa (National Innovation Company). What is the biggest obstacle in the creation of new companies? All the reports point to the same wall: the lack of financial resources.
MicroBank, CaixaBank’s social bank, supports and responds to entrepreneurs, while continuing to support segments of the population whose needs are not sufficiently covered. Throughout its 15 years of life, it has helped more than one million families and has promoted more than 225,000 small businesses.
About MicroBank deals with the third chapter of Us, the program with which CaixaBank intends to show, through data and stories, that being close to people makes it easier for them to achieve everything they set out to do. Training, financial inclusion, the economic development of rural areas or education in monetary culture are the subjects that these contents address.
The necessary support for the entrepreneur
Embarking on an entrepreneurial venture can be an arduous journey. Entrepreneurship requires attitude and aptitude, such as accessing the relevant financial resources. It is not always easy to have everything you need. Therefore, having a support to cling to, especially in the most difficult moments, is of vital importance.
This episode of the series Us illustrates what entering the world of entrepreneurship has meant to different types of people. The sample ranges from the experience lived by a young man who has decided to start a project after finishing his studies, to someone more experienced who defends that, to start a business, “it is never too late if you surround yourself with the right people”.
Facilitate access to credit
MicroBank develops a new model of social banking, with a clear objective: that the groups and projects that generate a favorable social impact have access, without too many obstacles, to the financial resources they need. The challenge is to promote productive activity, job creation and the personal and family development of the community as a whole.
MicroBank microcredits are loans of up to 25,000 euros, without real collateral, aimed at families, the self-employed and micro-enterprises that, due to their economic and social conditions, find it difficult to access traditional bank financing. In the granting of these microcredits, 290 entities from all over Spain actively collaborate, providing knowledge of the recipients of the loans; In addition, they advise and monitor the projects.
Additionally, in recent years MicroBank has launched new lines of financing aimed at sectors with a high social impact, such as those related to entrepreneurship and innovation, the social economy (EaSI Social Enterprise Loan), education (Skills&Education) and health.
Commitment to the entire community
MicroBank contributes, directly and indirectly, to achieving the goals set by the United Nations (UN) in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To this end, the CaixaBank social bank has the support of the entity, the involvement of the European institutions and the support of the entities within the social field.
He Strategic Plan 2022-2024 of MicroBank contemplates the granting of a total of 3,500 million euros in financing with social impact. The amount represents an increase of 34% compared to the amount granted in the 2019-2021 period.
In total, more than 400,000 vulnerable families, entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises will benefit. The entity plans to allocate 1,850 million to homes and 1,600 million to businesses and entrepreneurs. Compared to the previous year, the figure represents a substantial increase in the number of recipients, which were around 312,000 in the Strategic Plan 2019-2021.
More than fifteen decades investing in society
Currently, MicroBank is the largest microfinance bank in Europe. Since its creation in 2007, it has become a benchmark in social impact investing. In Spain it has financed more than 8,000 million euros, in a total of 1,243,332 projects. Of these, almost 7,500 million euros correspond to microcredits. This activity has contributed to generating 239,000 direct jobs and founding 95,000 businesses.
Of the total microcredits, 1,000,131 operations (with a value of 4,929 million euros) were used to meet specific needs of families. For its part, 225,049 transactions (2,550 million euros) were granted to support entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises. Counting the recent specific lines for sectors with impact, a total of 18,152 social economy, education, innovation and health projects have been financed, with a global value of 665 million euros.