Advans Côte d’Ivoire: The institution celebrates its 10th anniversary with a string of awards

Advans Côte d’Ivoire celebrated its 10th anniversary on March 23, 2022 in Abidjan. The ceremony took place in the presence of about 80 guests.

Founded in 2012, Advans Côte d’Ivoire, a partner of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, currently operates through a network of 22 branches, employing over 650 people. The institution currently serves more than 160,000 clients with outstanding loans of more than CFAF 65 billion.

True to its successful mission, Advans Côte d’Ivoire continues to help small businesses grow by providing sustainable access to simple and adaptable financial products and services. It does so by leveraging innovative services, proximity distribution models and the digitization of its product offering.

For its innovative digitization of payment and savings for cocoa farmers and cooperatives solution, Advans Côte d’Ivoire received the 2018 European Microfinance Prize “Financial Inclusion through Technology”. Named “Best Financial Institution for Credit Services” for the third year in a row and “Best Financial Institution for Agricultural Finance” for the first time, the institution continues to win awards from the African Consumer Label.

In ten years, Advans Côte d’Ivoire has developed a wide range of products tailored to the realities and expectations of disadvantaged populations.

For more information on Advans Côte d’Ivoire, click here.

Phare Ponleu Selpak: Cambodia’s Circus Show Breaks Guinness World Record

In the context of the Covid crisis, the circus, in search of funding, came up with something really creative to attract attention: to organise a show likely to break the Guinness World Record.

Phare Ponleu Selpak, a non-profit Cambodian art school, set a Guinness World Record by organising a circus performance that lasted 24 hours, 10 minutes and 30 seconds in Battambang. The show took place between March 7 and 8, 2021, but the record was confirmed by Guinness World Records (GWR) in November.

Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPSA) is an organisation founded by Cambodian refugees to help children through the trauma of war and to restore the country’s culture and education after the Khmer Rouge genocide. The association now contributes to the education of 800 underprivileged children and trains hundreds of others in the visual, musical and performing arts to help lift hundreds of families out of poverty and keep Cambodian culture alive.

Over the past decade, PPSA has taken innovative steps to avoid dependency on aid by establishing a popular animal-free circus and tourist attraction that has funded their rescue programmes. In particular, it created Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE), in which the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation is a shareholder, and which is the company responsible for producing and distributing circus shows while employing young artists from disadvantaged backgrounds, trained by the NGO.

Faced with the Covid-related restrictions that put an end to the shows, and therefore the source of income for artists, PPSA looked for alternative sources of income and thus came up with something really creative to attract attention. An idea that was based on the same creativity and resilience with which the organisation was born and which allowed it to break a world record and thus enter the Guinness.

For more information about the Phare circus, click here.

In Moldova, the Foundation strengthens its support to Smart Credit

© Philippe LISSAC / Godong

In September, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation granted new financing in Eastern Euro18pe and in particular in Moldova, where it is strengthening its support to the microfinance institution Smart Credit.

Indeed, the institution was granted a new loan for an amount, in local currency, equivalent to €500,000. Smart Credit is a microfinance institution whose objective is to help clients improve their living conditions, especially socially disadvantaged small entrepreneurs. The institution currently has over 3,000 active borrowers, 54% of whom are women and 71% of whom live in rural areas, and manages a portfolio of around €4 million.

For further information on our partners, please click here.

Finance at the service of inclusion: focus on impact investing on the occasion of the release of the film “Same Same but different”

On the occasion of the release of the film “Same Same but different”, directed by Tommy Pascal and shot in Cambodia with Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE), a social enterprise supported by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and that employs young artists from underprivileged backgrounds, Crédit Agricole SA and the Foundation organised a round table at the Grand Rex on “Finance at the service of inclusion: challenges and opportunities”.

Moderated by Vincent Brousseau, Director of impact financing at the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, the round table composed of Cyrille Langendorff (Phitrust), Florian Peudevin (Amundi) and Mathieu Cornieti (Impact Partners) generated a very interesting and informative discussion. The speakers thus presented the impact investing sector in France, explained what patient investments are, the risks and challenges of the sector. Punctuated with concrete examples of their activity, the debates highlighted the importance of finance in achieving fairer and more equitable inclusion of vulnerable populations, both in France and abroad, but also the importance of time in projects that can only be considered on the long term.

“Take the time to support social innovations.” – Florian Peudevin

Time is a key concept in finance. Because it is linked to profitability, performance, and the clarity of their effects. Would going fast be a guarantee of success? No when it comes to impact investing. “To provide answers to the major challenges, we must innovate and take the time needed to support these innovations“, explains Florian Peudevin. Investing in a project with a social impact means accepting that it experiences hazards and difficulties. “We are on the long term. We adjust the level of risk on which we want to position ourselves”, agrees Mathieu Cornieti. “We do not run away in the event of a glitch”, concludes Cyrille Langendorff.

Presented by Régis Wargnier, French director, President of PPS France, in the presence of Véronique Faujour, Managing Director of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, the experience of PPSE is a concrete example of what impact investing can represent for the inclusion of vulnerable populations, in particular young people. This support is all the more necessary in times of crisis such as the one experienced during the Covid pandemic which has undermined the financial situation of the company and, consequently, that of the artists and their families. The support of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole S.A. was crucial in enabling the company to take this step and continue to offer unique shows such as the one from which an extract was screened as an introduction to the round table.

Find the extract from the film “Same Same but different” here.

The entire film is available on the Qwest TV platform (subscription required).