BNP Paribas - Enabling Low-Income Population with Microfinance Services
At BNP Paribas, they believe that microfinance enables low-income populations to benefit from access of financial services. Hence, BNP Paribas has made financial inclusion and social entrepreneurship key commitments in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, 5, 8, 10 and 17.
BNP Paribas have been active in microfinance for more than 30 years. In India, BNP Paribas supports more than 250,000 micro-borrowers. 99% of these borrowers are women. What is good to know is that they can help the borrowers with a loan from an average of 300 Euros. BNP Paribas supports the MFIs (MicroFinance Institutions) who then have a direct contact with the borrowers.
One such MicroFinance Institutions (MFIs) is STEP. STEP operate in Kolkata and they not only provide socio-economic services. BNP Paribas is the first bank that helped STEP expand their activities. STEP now has 11 lenders including some domestic lenders from India and 3 lenders from abroad. Apart from technical support, they also receive technical support BNP Paribas. BNP Paribas also provides technical support on how to develop the Internet Audit System.
More than one-fifth of all micro-borrowers worldwide are coming from India.
One of the beneficiary, Ms. Mustai Baigam says - ‘I have been with STEP for the last 6 years. With the funds that I have received from STEP, I have started my own tailoring business. Earlier, I had only one machine, now I have 4 machine. My income has doubled over the years, which helped me send my children to an English medium school. My husband also supports me. My dream is to start a full-fledged tailoring shop.’
Another beneficiary says, -‘We used to make kites for other people. Having my own business has now helped a lot. When we sell 5000 kites, we make a profit of 360 Euros. In total, there are 5 of us working here including me. My dream is to grow the business and have a full-fledged kites shop.’
The BNP Paribas Group has set a goal of making its ﬁnancial products accessible to as many people as possible in order to promote economic development. One step that they have taken is to bolster their support of microﬁnance. In India alone, they have benefitted approximately 250,000 beneficiaries through their network of MFIs as on Sep 2018. Over the past decade, they have supported 21 MFIs up to Euro 220 million and benefited over 1.2 million borrowers.
BNP Paribas S.A. is a French international banking group. It is the world's 8th largest bank by total assets, and currently operates with a presence in 72 countries
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