The Foundation, partner of the 2019 Microfinance Barometer

Since 2010, Convergences publishes each year a Microfinance Barometer which retraces the main trends of the sector at the international level while giving visibility to microfinance initiatives with strong social impact and by promoting good practices. This year, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation is a partner of the Microfinance Barometer, the 10th edition of which will be launched during the Convergences World Forum which will take place on September 5 & 6 at the Palais Brongniart in Paris.

With the theme “What profitability for Microfinance”, the 9th Microfinance Barometer presents the key figures of the sector and explores the subject of the profitability of the sector in its multiple facets. Should microfinance be profitable? If so, can it be, while remaining socially responsible? Can it stay true to its aspirations of helping nearly 2 billion people with no access to banking services out of poverty? How to combine social performance and financial profitability to best serve the beneficiaries?

From microfinance institutions to investors, the Barometer confronts different points of view and highlights the very strong interdependence between social performance and economic performance. Through case studies, expert analyzes and interviews between investors, this edition offers an inventory of the profitability of microfinance, and provides lessons on the double return – social and financial – of microfinance.

To download it : here

Launching of “Producing my solar electricity”

©Philippe Lissac / Godong

Tuesday July 16, Elisabeth AYRAULT, CEO of CNR, Raphaël APPERT, Managing Director of Crédit Agricole Centre-Est and Marc JEDLICZKA, Director of HESPUL, officially launched the White paper called “Producing my solar electricity”, in the presence of Jacqueline ROISIL, Assistant Regional Director of ADEME.

This guide is intended for farmers, SMEs and companies wishing to engage in the installation of photovoltaic panels. Published by Uni-media, the White paper consists of about twenty pages to better understand this technology of “green” electricity generation.

Its main objective is to give photovoltaic project owners the keys to trigger and carry out their project. The definition of photovoltaics, its economic models, the partners of the project, or the conditions of connection are among the six items that make up the book. It is also available in digital format.

This practical guide is the result of a joint reflection between CNR and Crédit Agricole Centre-est on their role and usefulness on their territory. They jointly realized that the energy transition could not take place without economic players, large and small, and that it is their responsibility as an industrialist and a banker-insurer to contribute to it. “Supporting the transformation of the economic model of companies, SMEs and farmers, by integrating responses to climate challenges is a duty. This book is proof of the concrete commitment of two actors recognized locally as the Crédit Agricole Centre-est and CNR “, recalled Raphaël Appert.

Crédit Agricole Fund for Inclusive Finance in Rural Areas

©Philippe Lissac/GODONG

In partnership with CA Indosuez Wealth (Asset Management) and CACEIS Bank, Luxembourg Branch, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation launched in September 2018 the FIR (Finance Inclusive en Milieu Rural – Inclusive Finance in Rural Areas) a sub-fund of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Fund, the first microfinance fund of Credit Agricole Group.

2018, launch of the FIR and first fundraising

For over 10 years, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has been promoting financial inclusion and entrepreneurship by supporting microfinance institutions and social impact companies. In order to strengthen its action and leverage its impact, the Foundation, in partnership with CA Indosuez Wealth (Asset Management) and CACEIS Bank, Luxembourg Branch, launched the Rural Inclusive Finance (FIR) Sub-Fund which will allow Group entities to finance microfinance institutions in rural Africa, Asia and Europe.

The first two FIR fundraisong events closed in 2018 saw the participation of fifteen Regional Banks (Alsace-Vosges, Centre-est, Centre-France, Champagne-Bourgogne, Charente-Périgord, Franche-Comté, Ille-et-Vilaine, Languedoc, Loire-Haute Loire, Martinique-Guyane, Normandie-Seine, Provence Côte-d’Azur, Réunion, Savoie et Sud Rhône Alpes), as well as those of Amundi and Crédit Agricole Assurance for an amount of nearly 8 million euros.

2019, third fundraising and new perspectives

With the last fundraising event closed on June 28, 2019, five new Regional Banks (Alpes Provence, Brie Picardie, Finistère, Centre-Ouest and Touraine Poitou) subscribed to the FIR for 1.6 million euros.

With these resources, the FIR will develop its investments in the form of loans to microfinance institutions operating in sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-East Asia. As part of its mandate as an advisor to the Fund, the Foundation identifies microfinance institutions, conducts due diligence on the field and, once this is done and validated by the CA Indosuez Wealth Investment (Asset Management) Committee, is also responsible for the monitoring process.

The loans are intended to refinance loans made to people traditionally excluded from the banking sector, living in rural areas, which constitute the main clientele of targeted microfinance institutions.

The Foundation’s Friends Club N.4: the Solidarity Bankers programme in the spotlight


Launched by the Grameen Crédit Agricole and Crédit Agricole S.A. Foundation in June 2018, Solidarity Banker is a skills volunteering programme open to all Crédit Agricole Group employees in support of microfinance institutions or impact companies supported by the Foundation. To celebrate its first year, the programme was honoured at the Foundation’s Friends Club Meeting N°4, held on 9 July at Crédit Agricole’s Campus in Montrouge.

Solidarity bankers: balance sheet of the first year

The meeting was rich in exchanges, beginning with the speeches of Jean-Marie Sander, President of the Foundation, and Eric Campos, Executive Director of the Foundation and CSR Director of Crédit Agricole S.A. Recalling the history of the Foundation and the various challenges it faces, both stressed the importance of providing technical support to the Foundation’s partners through mechanisms such as the Solidarity Banker.

Carolina Herrera, Director of Communication and Partnerships of the Foundation, then presented the framework of the Solidarity Banker programme. With field missions lasting one to two weeks, Crédit Agricole Group employees support the Foundation’s partners to meet the technical support needs expressed by the beneficiary organisations. Since the beginning of the program, 12 missions have been launched: a great success that demonstrates the strong commitment of employees and the Group.

The next Solidarity bankers

To testify to this, Violette Cubier and Céline Hyon-Naudin, Investment Officers at the Foundation, presented the next missions alongside two Solidarity Bankers. Sarah Belbachir of Crédit Agricole SA and Caman Kamougue of Crédit Agricole CIB are the two solidarity bankers who, supported by the Group’s entities, will travel to Morocco and Haiti this summer to support Al Karama, a microfinance institution, and Palmis Enèji, a social impact company, respectively. They presented the objectives of the missions and highlighted their desire to contribute to a project with a strong social impact as well as personal and professional enrichment as the main motivations to become Solidarity Bankers.

The meeting ended with a presentation of the Foundation’s Strategic Plan 2019-2022 by Hélène Keraudren-Baube, Administrative and Financial Director, who recalled our three strategic pillars: strengthening microfinance expertise, developing the resilience of rural economies and promoting impact finance within the Group.

Team seminar between the Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA’s CSR

As part of a team seminar held from 3 to 5 July, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department decided for the first time to bring together their teams, led by Eric Campos, Managing Director of the Foundation and CSR Director of Crédit Agricole S.A. A wealth of discussion and reflection, during these three days to take stock of the various business lines and strengthen the dynamics common to both entities.

Strengthen cooperation between the Foundation and CSR

During three days spent in the Ardèche in the village of Voguë, the teams were able to discuss the levers to be activated to strengthen the scale of the projects carried out together and the new avenues of work to be explored.

As a first step, the two entities each presented their Strategic Plan 2019-2022. For the Foundation, it is based on three pillars: strengthening microfinance expertise, developing the resilience of rural economies and promoting impact finance within the Group. For the CSR Department, the teams focused on the Group’s climate strategy, which calls for a gradual divestment from coal, first in the EU and OECD countries by 2020, then in China in 2030 and finally in the rest of the world by 2050. The common thread of the two medium-term plans is to support a more inclusive, responsible and sustainable finance.

Through working groups, the Foundation and CSR teams have been able to define various elements on which they will move forward together in order to create synergies that will benefit both the Foundation and the Crédit Agricole Group as a whole through Crédit Agricole S.A.’s CSR Department. Sharing expertise, capitalizing on successful joint projects, innovation – many are the possible actions to strengthen the Foundation’s and the Group’s action in favour of financial inclusion and socially responsible entrepreneurship.

At the end of the Seminar, further meetings are planned to continue this dynamic of pooling and mutual enrichment between the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and the CSR Department and, more generally, the entire Crédit Agricole Group.