Group 2

Authentic: Caja Arequipa

GABV

4 January 2022

Values-based banks maintain an open and honest approach to their shortcomings and work to improve them. Their communications are transparent, honest and as a result easy to understand. By being intentional in what they do, and by integrating values in their businesses, values-based banks are genuinely authentic


 

Caja Arequipa is a values-based bank that operates in Peru. The bank saw that there was a shortcoming in its product offerings by not serving millennial entrepreneurs, including financial education for those from vulnerable areas. Caja Arequipa noticed that the millennial generation was one of the most aware in regard to the importance of banking on values, and they developed a product for young entrepreneurs, incorporating innovation and sustainability as the main evaluation criteria. 

Erika was a young entrepreneur they successfully financed and guided. Coming from Moquegua, the capital of a poor province in southern Peru and infamously recognised for its lack of development and lack of opportunity for the youth, Erika was a 19-year-old girl who aspired to study at a university but couldn´t because of her family’s economic situation. Determined to fulfil her dreams, Erika went on to see how she could get money for her studies and her family and started a new business: “Las chicas del raspado”.

Caja Arequipa took a risk and chose to service Erika and her business despite not having a prior product available. The credit analyst responsible for Erika´s account had to bet on a young woman without credit or collateral but with a lot of potential and confidence in herself and her project. The analyst accompanied her all the way, guiding her so that she and her project could grow in a sustainable way. She not only fulfilled her dreams of studying at a university and helped to support her family, but she also expanded her business. 

This experience of working with Erika changed the way all the other credit analysts at Caja Arequipa saw their work, allowing them to deepen their understanding of the social mission of the microfinance institution. They understood that their work can have an authentic impact.

Erika’s story assured Caja Arequipa that the new terms of providing finance for millennial entrepreneurs perfectly aligned with its mission and vision. The Bank saw an opportunity to improve and helped transform a new generation of clients’ lives through financial services, products and advisory that support innovation.

The credit analyst responsible for Erika´s account had to bet on a young woman without credit or collateral but with a lot of potential and confidence in herself and her project. The analyst accompanied her all the way, guiding her so that she and her project could grow in a sustainable way. It changed the way other analysts saw their work, allowing them to understand the social mission of Caja Arequipa as a microfinance institution. They understood that the way they served their clients was integral and transcended finance. 

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