The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, in partnership with Crédit Agricole Egypt, has just granted, for the first time, funding to the microfinance institution Tasaheel, in the form of a guarantee equivalent to € 3 million, allowing the institution to access a loan granted by CA Egypt.
Tasaheel for Microfinance Foundation (Tasaheel) is a tier 2 microfinance institution created in 2015 as part of GB Auto’s corporate responsibility programme. Its mission is the effective development of small enterprises through the design and granting of loans, to help improve the socio-economic status of low-income families. Tasaheel aims to help low-income people generate higher returns to improve their standard of living, which in turn supports overall community development and economic growth. To date, the institution has nearly 400,000 active borrowers, 83% of whom are women. Less than 1% of its customers live in rural areas.
With this new funding, the Foundation is consolidating its presence in Egypt and strengthening its partnership with Crédit Agricole Egypt within the framework of the cooperation schemes set up with the Crédit Agricole Group’s International Retail Banking (BPI).
For the first time, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has invested in Moldova, with the microfinance institution Smart Credit, with a loan in local currency equivalent to 496,000 euros over a period of three years. Smart Credit is an MFI created in 2010 by five local professionals and whose mission is to position itself as the best microfinance service provider in the region, in particular for socially disadvantaged small entrepreneurs.
The institution offers loans according to the individual methodology and today has nearly 3,000 active clients, 54% of whom are women and 71% are clients in rural areas.
With this investment, the Foundation is consolidating its presence in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region where it already has 17 partners in eight countries. This region thus represents 21% of the portfolio monitored by the Foundation.
Created in 2008, under the joint leadership of Crédit Agricole SA and Professor Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of Grameen Bank, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation is a cross-business actor which contributes to the fight against poverty through financial inclusion and social impact entrepreneurship. Investor, lender, technical assistance coordinator and Fund advisor, the Foundation supports microfinance institutions and social enterprises in nearly 40 countries.
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation continues to invest in sub-Saharan Africa, its priority intervention area, with two new investments, one of them to a new partner.
Thus, in Mali, the Foundation funded for the first time Baobab Mali (formerly Microcred), an entity of the Baobab Group, with a loan in local currency equivalent to € 2.5 million. Baobab Mali started its operational activities in 2013 in Bamako. It is a microfinance institution created on the initiative of a set of international partners wishing to contribute to the economic and social development of Mali. In order to be granted a loan, entrepreneurs must demonstrate one year of activity and six months of uninterrupted operations on their premises. To date, the institution has nearly 20,000 active borrowers, 46% of whom are women and about 35% of whom live in rural areas.
The Foundation also granted a new loan in local currency equivalent to € 790,000 to the microfinance institution Bimas in Kenya. A partner of the Foundation since 2014, Bimas is a microenterprise development programme (MED-P) launched in 1992 under the auspices of PLAN Embu. It was aimed at providing training and credit to small enterprises in Gachoka Division in Mbeere District. The institution has continued expanding its operations to the largely unbanked population in the areas of Embu. Its goal is to contribute to sustained economic growth and employment in the rural sector resulting in enhanced social welfare and increased income of the rural population in Kenya. To date the institution has nearly 19,000 active borrowers, 65% of whom are women and 90% of whom live in rurale areas.