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News tagged as "development"
April 8, 2013

Do microfinance & entrepreneurship make sense in Spain?

Tags: microfinance, development, entrepreneurship, Latin America, Spain, microenterprises | by Pilar Vereda del Abril, Ibero-American Foundation for Development (FIDE)

At the Foundation, we do believe our large experience is useful. Fundación Iberoamericana para el Desarrollo (FIDE) is working for longer than 20 years in the field of development cooperation and we consider that we have generated true development from the bottom and from the inside of Latin America. This is the model of development we promote. 

Our global world has been conceived from the top, by accumulating knowledge, technology and the interests of foreign powers, as well as local powers in developing countries. This conception of the world was imposed to some countries and cultures that did not take part of the capitalism’s core because they were just marginal or ex colonies. This model has created economic and social injustice in the world's population where the majority are in poverty and financial exclusion. Considering this situation, we at FIDE have been making proposals to make those majorities able to create their own development from the bottom and from the inside, so they have the ability to change their circumstances, the power to lead their destiny and the opportunity to design their lives.  

We propose a "from bottom" perspective to make them possible to access knowledge and technology dia and, "from the inside", we mean from their own initiatives and their own cultures to achieve its own development in harmony with nature. We make these proposals because we learned it of the majorities, because we have lived with their struggle against poverty and we checked their extraordinary life force to create their own destinies and jobs. Entrepreneurship allows for the change in the circumstances of poverty, creates wealth, and triggers development. 

Over the years FIDE foundation has supported NGO, microfinance institutions and credit unions and has created community banks, using different microfinance tools such as revolving funds, seeds banks, time banks, value chains and microcredit in such a way that from the informal economy - which is marginalization, creation, and at the same time an expression of the dynamism of civil society- three essential figures were born to fight poverty: entrepreneurs, microenterprises and microfinance

FIDE believes that first of all, development depends on the will, effort and talent of the people and their own political, social and productive organizations, besides their natural resources, the market and foreign aid. The key in development is promoting access to education, technical training, socio - cultural assets and also providing finance to allow carry out these ideas.

microentrepreneurs in Latin America

Entrepreneurs have shown that they are the new agents of development, because they produce radical changes in society, politics and culture, in production, in the market and in the territory. Most of them are self-employed and create micro-enterprises in their efforts to escape poverty, and their small income comes from the sale of products, goods or services in uncertain markets. 

Could this development model be of any use in our society? Is the Spanish society aware that entrepreneurship and a participative attitude is needed for developing from the bottom and from the inside? Is our society aware that our crisis provides useful lessons to learn from?  Is our society aware that we cannot afford to fall into the same mistakes of generating a development process from the top and from outside? 

We at FIDE do and wonder why the current policy for entrepreneurship promotion in Spain is not taking into account all the lessons learned that people and NGO have learned through creating and supporting entrepreneurs and using microfinance as a way of funding, participation and development. 

We must remind that starting a venture involves assuming risks, putting ideas into practice, know-how to translate them properly into reality and having the resources (and the ability to manage them properly).

FIDE does that together with our local partners in what we call directional centres or centres for entrepreneurship, where we work to promote entrepreneurial attitude among young people, by encouraging and nurturing ideas and initiatives with market research studies, training people of all ages to make them capable of adequately translate their business plans into initiatives. We carry out technical assessments to help them get the best financing, and we advise and accompany them for at least three years to make their project of life a success and achieve the goals set for their personal development. In that way, we expect to influence Spain’s development by generating work earnings and wealth.

Initiative financed by: Initiative financed by AECID
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