The Financial Inclusion pilot project in the municipality of Quezaltepeque seeks to contribute to reducing the financial gap of market entrepreneurs through the development of skills in business management, use of technological tools and access to digital products, both savings and credit.
In El Salvador only 3.5% of the population has a mobile money account; less than 24% have made or received digital payments, and only 29% of salvadorans have an account in a financial institution, leaving more than 4 million (71%) salvadorans without banking services, many of them having to resort to moneylenders to whom they pay interest rates of up to 500% annually. The financial inclusion gap also limits the use of remittances for investment and productive purposes.
The Financial Inclusion pilot project is implemented through an alliance between the Quezaltepeque Municipal Government and three companies: Davivienda, an important reference in the country's financial sector with more than 138 years of banking experience; CREA El Salvador, an innovation organization whose mission is to improve the lives of Salvadorans; and FIADO, a financial technology company (FINTECH).
Each of the partners involved in the pilot project contributes to reducing the financial inclusion gap in the municipality of Quezaltepeque with its own resources and experience. The Municipality of Quezaltepeque has made its staff and municipal resources available to the pilot project for the organization of trainings, financial literacy talks and events. It has also assigned a space in the market for project partners to offer advice to entrepreneurs three days a week during the month of november 2023.
Davivienda, within its strategy of Communities with Social Impact and inspired by its culture of innovation, seeks to influence this key segment of the locality, with the purpose of revitalizing and transforming its commercial dynamics, making available digital savings accounts: DaviPlata and Cuenta Móvil; in addition, it will provide technical assistance to contribute to the financial education of the new account holders involved in the project.
The easy-access simplified savings accounts will enable market traders to make payments to their suppliers and receive payments from their customers, reducing the use of cash. They will also be able to pay water, electricity, telephone and other utility bills from their phones without having to travel.
In addition, Davivienda will offer talks of 45 minutes each to market entrepreneurs interested in changing and improving their financial habits on the following topics: 1. Good financial habits, 2. How to take your business to another level, and 3. The talks will be held in the auditorium of the Quezaltepeque Museum during the month of november. 1 All these digital tools, programs, and experiences offered by Davivienda, will meet the needs and facilitate the lives of Quezaltepeque residents, enhancing financial inclusion.
CREA El Salvador coordinates the pilot project and the execution of the alliance's actions. Based on its experience, CREA has strengthened capacities in business management, financial education and the use of financial technologies through two six-week courses for microentrepreneurs in the municipality of Quezaltepeque.
The two groups of microentrepreneurs have learned how to record their sales and expenses, prepare budgets and use digital tools to strengthen their businesses. As part of the project, CREA will provide advice on digital literacy to market entrepreneurs who request it from the space (stand) assigned in the market for this purpose.
FIADO App will make available to the market entrepreneurs the option to apply for credit through its digital platform, a simple process that can be done from your phone. Those entrepreneurs who qualify will be able to receive credit within a few days after applying. The successful completion of the loans granted will enable microentrepreneurs to build their credit history and subsequently qualify for other loans in the country's formal banking system.
FIADO App also provided technical assistance in the use of financial technologies to the entrepreneurs registered in the CREA courses, which measured their financial capacity and indebtedness to be eligible for credit on the platform. FIADO App will provide technical assistance, from the market, in the use of the application for access to credit. The event was chaired by the four project partners, Guadalupe Anzora, representative of the Quezaltepeque Municipal Mayor's Office; Harold Sibaja, Manager of CREA El Salvador; Jaime González, director of Personal Banking at Banco Davivienda; and Mónica Solis, FIADO's Experiences manager.
The three private sector partners explained the benefits of the project and their commitment to those present, the beneficiaries of CREA's training received diplomas of participation in financial management, and one of the beneficiaries gave a few words to the audience in which she expressed her gratitude and the impact of the training for the development of their businesses.
The event culminated with the signing of the collaboration agreement between the parties and the words of the representative of the Mayor of Quezaltepeque, Guadalupe Anzora, who reaffirmed her commitment to the financial inclusion of the municipality and thanked the partners for their contributions.
Translated by: A.M