With a loan of 4.5M USD, the Foundation strengthens the impact of the Advans Group

The Foundation, a microfinance sector expert

As an investor, funder and technical assistance coordinator, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has been supporting microfinance institutions (MFIs) and social business companies around the world for 10 years. With nearly € 65 million microfinance outstanding portfolio, it currently supports over 60 MFIs in around 30 countries.

Advans, a strategic partner for the Foundation

The Advans Group operates in nine countries: Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tunisia and Myanmar, with over 800,000 clients. Advans’ mission is to develop a microfinance institutions’ network in developing countries, able to facilitate the access of small entrepreneurs in economic vulnerable situations and their families to financial services.

The loan granted by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation to the Advans Group testifies to the excellent relations between the two institutions and is at the core of a true strategic relationship and a sharing of the same values. It will strengthen Advans activities, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the Group is committed to entrepreneurship in urban and rural areas of the country.

As part of the Foundation’s medium-term plan, this funding aims to strengthen its presence alongside major players in the sector, most of whom are working in rural areas.

Advans is a leading international microfinance group established in 2005. Its mission is to meet the financial services needs of small businesses and other economic agents who have inadequate, limited or no access to traditional financial services by offering them appropriate financial services in a sustainable and responsible manner.

For further information: //www.advansgroup.com


Created in 2008, under the joint impetus of the directors of Crédit Agricole S.A. and Professor Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Grameen Bank, the Grameen Crédit Agricole SA Foundation is a multi-business operator that contributes to the fight against poverty through financial inclusion and entrepreneurship with a social impact. As an investor, lender, technical assistance coordinator and fund advisor, the Foundation supports microfinance institutions and social enterprises in nearly 40 countries.

Study tour and 4th African Facility Forum in Ivory Coast

For the very first time the Study tour, a yearly-planed event aimed at making Board members meet the Foundation’s partners, has been organised simultaneously with the Annual Forum of the African Facility, a technical assistance programme created in 2013 in partnership with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). From the 8th to the 12th of July, partners and Board members were able to discuss, to strength their knowledge on the specificities of the Foundation’s activities and to explore new lines of action for the coming years. Panel discussions, training days and field visits: plenty of key moments marked this strategic week for the Foundation.

The first day of the week started in Abidjan with the opening ceremony of the 4th Forum of the African Facility. After a first phase that benefited 16 rural microfinance institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, the second phase of this program will take place from 2017 to 2020 and is expected to provide over 20 institutions with funding and technical assistance. The 4th Forum was the occasion to present the main outcomes and perspectives of the programme.I It was marked by inspiring exchanges between Board members and 16 microfinance institutions supported by the African Facility.

Throughout the following days, the African Facility’s partners participated in trainings focused on digital and agricultural supply chain finance. Besides, Board members took part in two field visits. The first visit allowed them to discover the functioning of a cocoa cooperative located in Tiassalé that receives a financial support from Advans, a partner of the Foundation. The day after, a second field visit to Akpesekro was the opportunity for Board members to find out more about the ZECI project, an initiative aimed at facilitating access to electricity in rural areas through the commercialization of off-grid solar kits. The Foundation participates in the financing of the operating company, ZECI[1], in cooperation with CA-CIB’s securitization team. It will also ensure the follow-up of the project’s social and environmental performance.

Before the closing cocktail, a Foundation’s Board meeting was held . The meeting was focused on the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan whichbenefited from relevant inputs raised by the African Facility partners. The Strategic Plan will be officially presented in November during the “Sustainable Finance Week”, organized in partnership with Credit Agricole to celebrate the Foundation’s 10th anniversary. A photo exhibition, panel discussions and a special ceremony are part of the program and will reaffirm the Foundation and Crédit Agricole Group’s commitment towards a more inclusive and responsible finance.

[1] Enterprise co-founded by EDF and Off-Grid Electric (OGE).