The Foundation publishes its report “Our technical assistance offer”

In order to share the experience accumulated since 2013, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation publishes its report “Our technical assistance offer”.

Technical assistance programmes serving our partners

In 2013, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation made the strategic decision to launch a technical assistance programme coordination activity in order to strengthen its capacity of impact. Funded by the French Development Agency (AFD), the African Facility is the first assistance programme initiated by the Foundation. It aims to support small, high-potential microfinance institutions with a social commitment by coupling a line of financing with a technical assistance activity.

The Foundation now offers six major technical assistance programmes, in cooperation with major international organisations, to strengthen the network of microfinance institutions and impact businesses in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. This activity Technical assistance has thus become one of the Foundation’s four lines of business, alongside investment, financing, and investment advisory.

Diversifying and structuring its technical assistance programmes

Since the launch of this activity, the Foundation has mobilised appropriate funding from institutional actors. It also follows clear procedures, based on international best practices and compliance with funders’ criteria on procurement rules.

The breadth of its technical assistance is reflected in the variety of programmes the Foundation coordinate, both general and thematic. With eight years of experience, it now has a proven ability to strengthen its partners.

A contribution to its impact model

In addition to strengthening its partners in their operational consolidation, the Foundation also supports them in addressing the many challenges they face in constantly changing environments and markets. Technical assistance programs help develop strategies for inclusive green finance, digitalisation, financial inclusion of refugees, etc.

The Foundation also plays a role in promoting social impact banking practices. The Solidarity Bankers programme makes a major contribution to this within the Crédit Agricole Group.

Lessons learned and recommendations

In 2020, with the methodological help of Cerise, an independent organisation, the Foundation decided to conduct an in-depth evaluation of its technical assistance. It is now drawing lessons from this model through recommendations concerning the entire process: internatl procedures, intervention methods, involvement of beneficiary organisations, choice of the service provider, reporting, post-mission monitoring.

Through this document, the Foundation report on this work by sharing its experience with all those who contribute to the consolidation of the inclusive finance sector.

 

Discover the Report

A technical assistance to strengthen inclusive green finance

©GODONG

In 2013, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation created the “African Facility” technical assistance programme funded by the Agence française de développement (AFD).

Feedback on the programme with the testimony of Thomas DOVONOU – Head of Credit Department, in charge of the Promotion of New Products at RENACA.

RENACA is a Tier 2 microfinance institution created in 2005 to strengthen significantly the economic base of vulnerable rural, peri-urban and urban self-employed populations. RENACA provides individual and group loans to a predominantly female clientele in six regions of Benin. Within the technical assistance programme of the African Facility, RENACA has received support from the YAPU consulting firm to strengthen its actions in inclusive green finance.

Why was the development of a business plan important for your institution?

This mission was an initial intervention with RENACA-Benin (Réseau National des Caisses Villageoises d’Epargne et de Crédit Autogérées du Bénin) to develop our green agenda and define our organizational objectives. On the one hand, we wanted to benefit from an introductory awareness on the concept of inclusive green finance. On the other hand, an institutional assessment was needed to do a situational analysis of our actions in the field of inclusive green finance in order to identify and take advantage of market opportunities.

As RENACA operates mainly in rural areas, one of our priorities was to receive advice to develop our agricultural credit product offering, in terms of scope, productivity and management of risks linked to climate change. The consulting firm also trained us on the concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture.

What did you expect from the consultant? Did the results meet your expectations?

The YAPU consulting firm carried out an assessment of RENACA on its level of initial implementation of inclusive green finance, based on a review of our documentation, our processes and by interviewing our teams. The firm has truly worked with all of the Network’s players (general management managers, operational staff, elected representatives and clients) to define our challenges and structure our priorities in an action plan. This allowed us to have a framework to strengthen our activities towards a more active and responsible organization from an environmental point of view.

We particularly appreciated the participatory approach of YAPU, as well as the good preparation of the mission and the quality of the documentation provided.

What actions have you implemented following the mission?

We first completed a Green Index and shared the results within the Network. Thus, the teams were informed of our current situation in terms of the level of implementation of inclusive green finance and became aware of our areas of improvement and possible opportunities.

Then, the results of the mission were used to improve the inclusive green finance system through the implementation of some recommendations.

For instance, we drew up a list of activities excluded from funding because they are harmful to the environment and the well-being of customers (production of charcoal, extraction activities leading to the pollution of water bodies, etc.) In addition to this list, a list of behaviors for lasting change expected from our customers was formulated.

We have also developed our offer of agricultural financial products through the establishment of an appropriate system in terms of strategy, actor profile (operational agents and pool of agricultural finance specialists), procedures and policies, tools, financial resources, partnerships, etc.

Finally, RENACA has developed an environmental and social policy, which has been adopted by its Board of Directors. The next step will be to disseminate it to network stakeholders (operational agents, customers, elected officials, etc.).

Ultimately, thanks to YAPU’s intervention, we better understood the opportunities and challenges of inclusive green finance. This mission therefore enabled a real awareness of the Network’s teams, from general management to field agents.

Phare, The Cambodian Circus is on tour in France!

Phare Circus (Cambodge) © Oyen Rodriguez

Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) is a social enterprise created in 2012 on the initiative of Phare Ponleu Selpak (“The Brightness of the Arts”), a Cambodian NGO, which has been working for more than 20 years for access to quality and artistic education for children in a precarious situation. Today, the NGO welcomes more than 1,000 children and has more than 300 students in its performing arts school located in Battambang. It offers these young artists circus, theater, music and dance lessons through professionalization programs lasting 4 to 6 years.

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has been a shareholder of PPSE since 2013 and provides financial support in the development of its projects including the Phare Cafe, the Phare Boutique and Phare, The Cambodian Circus. PPSE also benefited from technical assistance through the Solidarity Bankers program in 2019 and 2020.

Phare, The Cambodian Circus was created to offer employment opportunities to young students and graduates of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPSA) Circus programs. 80% of the dividends made are donated to the PPSA association in order to ensure the sustainability of the project. The initiative is a success: Phare artists perform every evening under the Big Top in Siem Reap and their performances have gathered more than 100,000 spectators since the opening in 2013. They have also made numerous tours around the world: in Asia, Australia, the United States but also in Europe. The Crédit Agricole group also had the privilege of welcoming the troupe to its campus in Montrouge in 2015. In 8 years, Phare, The Cambodian Circus has become one of the most innovative social business models in Cambodia.

Do not miss the opportunity to discover their work during their French tour between November and December 2021. “L’Or Blanc”, the title of their show, is a periphrase refering to rice, omnipresent in everyday life and in the Cambodian imagination. It is the central element of the scenography and brings a poetic dimension to the feat of the artists who perform juggling and acrobatics with poetry and energy. Much more than a circus show, Phare performances are unique in the world: they combine dance, theater, live music and circus arts. Breathtaking.

Book your tickets: //pharecircus.org/or-blanc-france-2021/

 

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation represented at the African Microfinance Week 2021

The 5th edition of the African Microfinance Week (SAM), a biennial conference dedicated to the development of financial inclusion in Africa, will take place from October 18 to 22, 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda, on the theme of resilience.

Organized by ADA Microfinance in Luxembourg, the main objective of SAM 2021 is to federate the reflections and commitments of the different categories of actors in the African sector of inclusive finance. Conferences and training sessions are organized throughout the week in order to discuss strategies and actions to be carried out to strengthen the resilience capacities of financial service operators and beneficiary populations and accelerate their progress towards sustainable development objectives.

The SAM conference: “We are not born resilient, we become resilient: strengthening inclusive finance to overcome crises”

This conference will be held over two days and will be structured in plenary sessions.

In this context, Philippe Guichandut, Director of Inclusive Finance Development at the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, will speak during two sessions on “MFIs and the way through the Covid-19 crisis in Africa: survey results and lessons” as well as on “The financing of the inclusive finance sector in times of crisis: what role for investors and donors in strengthening the resilience of the sector? “. On this occasion, Philippe Guichandut will share the experience of the Foundation during the Covid-19 crisis and the results of surveys carried out, in partnership with Inpulse and ADA, with their partner microfinance institutions.

Violette Cubier, Technical Assistance program Manager at the Foundation, will speak during an experience sharing session on financial innovations to promote the resilience of refugee populations.

Trainings and workshops

SAM 2021 will also offer around twenty training courses on different themes: agricultural finance, digital finance, inclusive insurance, social performance, etc.

At the initiative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, a training session will be organized on the theme of financial inclusion for refugees and host communities.

Microinsurance training will also be held by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, the International Labor Organization and the Micro Insurance Network.

Eventually, Sébastien Simonot, Senior Investment Manager at the Foundation, will speak during the workshop “Green and inclusive finance: Understanding and tackling client vulnerabilities”. The training will provide participants with an overview of basic client needs assessment frameworks, data collection tools and strategies for integrating these inclusive green finance programs into their organization.

The opportunity to meet its partners

SAM 2021 will also be an opportunity for the Foundation to meet its African partners and in particular the partners involved in the African Facility programme, developed since 2013 in partnership with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and which will come to an end as of December 31 of this year. Meetings will be organised ahead of the SAM and will allow all parties involved to take stock of this programme, which has particularly focused on technical assistance and has made it possible to strengthen some twenty microfinance institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, priority intervention area of ​​the Foundation.

Learn more about the technical assistance programmes of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation here.

 

African Facility: technical assistance in favor of ACFIME

© Didier Gentilhomme

In 2013, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation created the “African Facility” technical assistance programme funded by the Agence française de développement (AFD).

This programme launched 9 years ago and ending in December 2021 enabled to carry out 326 technical assistance missions in favor of 26 partners of the Foundation for a total amount of 3,52 mln euros in grants.

Feedback on the programme with the testimony of Gaston Assagwe, ACFIME’s Executive Director.

ACFIME (Agence Communautaire pour le Financement de la Micro Entreprise) is a Tier 3 microfinance institution (loan portfolio < 10 million USD) in Burkina Faso. At the end of December 2020, the institution served 21,504 clients with outstanding loans of € 1.9 million. It offers credit and savings products mostly to women (90%) living in rural areas (90%).

Within the technical assistance programme of the African Facility, the consultant Pierre Houssou supported the institution in the development of a risk map adapted to its challenges and its development strategy.

Why was developing a risk map important for ACFIME?

ACFIME was created in 2007 and developed its activities on a national level with three branches and seven service points. Since the creation, it implemented an internal audit service to ensure control of the institution’s operations and anticipate risks. Within the African Facility programme, the institution was supported by Pierre Houssou in the development of a risk map. Today, the periodic monitoring of the mapping makes it possible to monitor the evolution of the risk and to quickly take measures to fix it.

What did you expect from the consultant? Did the results meet your expectations ?

How to detect a risk, how to analyze it, how to measure its importance in a sustainable and viable way for the institution? Thanks to this mission, the internal audit department was first trained on the concept of risks and the development of a plan to mitigate them. As risks can be found in each position and each procedure or process, everyone’s collaboration was essential to achieve the second objective of the mission: the development of a risk map. The participatory approach used by Pierre Houssou (individual questions and answers, focus group, votes, plenary sessions, etc.) enabled each member of ACFIME to be an actor in this great work of reflection and analysis.

What is your review of this mission and how could it have been improved? 

The mission could have been extended but the result is very positive. At the end of the mission a risk management committee was set up within ACFIME to update the map independently. We now have a precise mapping adapted to financial, operational and strategic risks, as well as efficient management tools. The annual internal audit plan is also based on this mapping to develop ACFIME.

How has this mapping helped you better manage risk during the Covid-19 crisis?

 Since the implementation of this mapping, the risks identified have been subject to a mitigation plan which enabled to prevent and reduce existing risks. In the context of the Covid-19 crisis, the mapping helped ACFIME to turn to local financial partners, such as the State of Burkina Faso, to cope with the drying up of international funding due to travel restrictions and global health restrictions.

 

 

 

SOLIDARITY BANKERS : TWO “DIGITAL STRATEGY” MISSIONS TO BE FILLED

 

©GODONG

Solidarity Bankers is a skills volunteering programme launched by the Foundation and Crédit Agricole S.A. in 2018. The programme has a twofold objective: on the one hand, support microfinance institutions and social impact enterprises financed by the Foundation with technical assistance, and on the other hand, enhance the skills of Group employees who want to invest themselves in projects with high social impact.

Missions can take place during the Solidarity Banker’s working time and/or during holidays (volunteering).

Currently two “digital strategy” missions are to be filled online or on the field :

  • Field mission in favor of Smart Credit (Moldova)

Smart Credit is a microfinance institution created in 2010 by 5 local professionals having one same vision: providing financial services to socially disadvantaged people and small entrepreneurs in Moldova. The institution has more than 3,000 active borrowers and manages a portfolio of 4.4 million euros.

The Solidarity Banker will be in charge of helping to build the digital strategy of Smart Crédit. The expert is an employee of the Crédit Agricole Group who is fluent in English and has experience in IT project management.

For more information, download the term sheet on ca-solidaires.fr  

  • Field or online mission in favor of OXUS (Kyrgyzstan)

OXUS Kyrgyzstan (OKG) is a microfinance institution that provides financial services to the working poor and under-banked in Kyrgyzstan. The institution serves 8,000 active borrowers and manages a portfolio of EUR 6.4 million.

The selected Crédit Agricole expert will support OKG in the evaluation of its digitalization processes and in the construction of a new digital strategy. The Solidarity Banker must have significant experience in IT project management. Fluency in English is mandatory and speaking Russian is an asset.

For more information, download the term sheet on ca-solidaires.fr  

To apply : send your CV and cover letter (or a few lines explaining why you are interested in the mission) to :

 

[TESTIMONY] : A SOLIDARITY BANKER IN CAMBODIA

©Philippe Lissac/GODONG

Launched by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA in June 2018, Solidarity Bankers is a skills volunteering programme aimed at all Crédit Agricole group employees for the benefit of microfinance institutions or impact businesses supported by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation.

Read the interview with Jean-Baptiste Bounes, SODICA’s Solidarity Banker, who carried out an online mission in favour of Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) between 2020 and 2021.

 The fight against poverty through entrepreneurship

Eric Campos presented the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, and more specifically the Solidarity Bankers programme, during a CACIF corporate plenary session in December 2019. I was immediately seduced by the poverty reduction missions through the promotion of entrepreneurship with social impact and inclusive finance in developing countries. I contacted the Foundation to be informed of the various Solidarity Bankers missions to be filled in order to apply to a mission in line with my skills and motivations.

After having several interviews conducted by the Foundation team, I was selected to advise PPSE in Cambodia in its fundraising strategy .

The proposed assignment fully met my expectations: to be able to use my skills for the benefit of a project with a strong social impact in a difficult context linked to Covid-19;; discover a new culture and get out of my professional comfort zone.

The challenge of this mission was to be able to successfully collaborate remotely over a long period while maintaining intensity in the process of fundraising.

 A remote mission during a pandemic

Due to restrictions linked to the Covid-19, I participated through my intervention with PPSE to the Foundation’s first online mission of Solidarity Bankers.

Unlike the field missions which often take place over two weeks, my mission was carried out at the rate of one day per week over 15 weeks which was well suited to an operation of fundraising . This allowed me to be present alongside the manager and shareholders over the long term.

A real educational work was done during the initial discussions to ensure that the level of understanding of the various challenges was the same for each attendee .

In addition, in order to maintain close collaboration over time despite the distance, weekly updates were organised,. The upstream definition of the various stages also facilitated the smooth running of the process. This allowed the Foundation to consider new remote missions in a proper way.

Skills volunteering: an experience to be renewed

This experience was very enriching , both on a human and professionally level.

First of all, the real autonomy that was entrusted to me allowed me to ask myself the right questions, to assert myself and to gain confidence in order to complete successfully the missions on a daily basis. This experience undoubtedly marked a turning point in my professional career.

I also had the chance to work alongside a company with a strong social impact and Impact Investing funds, which was really close to my heart as I find this universe fascinating and promising.

This mission has also given me a lot on a human level. I discovered a completely different culture and made inspiring and enriching encounters.

I would particularly like to thank Dara Huot, CEO of PPSE, for his extreme generosity, kindness and trust. The investment in terms of time and workload is certainly significant, but if it had to be done again, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

 

The African Facility : technical assistance in favor of GRAINE SARL

© Didier Gentilhomme

 

In 2013, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation created the “African Facility” technical assistance programme funded by the Agence française de développement (AFD).

Feedback on the programme with the testimony of Eléonore Marie Céline Compaore-Gyebre  – GRAINE’s Executive Director.

Created in 2006, GRAINE SARL is a Tier 3 microfinance institution (loan portfolio < 10 million USD). At the end of December 2020, the institution offered credit products to almost 17,926 clients, mostly women (75%) living in rural areas (66%), for a loan portfolio of €4,9mln.

Within the technical assistance programme of the African Facility, GRAINE SARL was assisted in its digitalization process. The consultant in charge of the mission, Thomas Carrié, supported the institution in the implementation of a new integrated software for managing information in the cloud, the secure migration of data and user training.

Why was the implementation of a new Information and Management System (MIS) important for GRAINE SARL?

By 2018, we had reached a level of growth that required a more efficient information management software than the one we were using. The consolidation of data and the production of reporting had become unachievable within the required timeframe. In addition, given the scope of the network (6 branches and 29 service points), we wanted to develop innovative financial products to better meet customer needs and improve our profitability. The acquisition of a new integrated software allowed us to interconnect all counters as well as the head office. Thanks to this tool we have a consolidated view of the information collected in the field in real time, data collection is more reliable and secure and we developed new products. 

What did you expect from the consultant? Did the results meet your expectations?

Beyond the acquisition of this new software, we needed someone familiar with the microfinance sector and the issues related to digitalization. Thomas Carrié, in tandem with Yempabou Samuel Nidjergou, based in Ouagadougou, supported us very well, from the definition of the needs to the configuration and deployment of the software. Then they allowed us to manage the data migration and user training, while respecting the deadlines! We are very satisfied of the expertise and the interpersonal skills of the consultants.

What is your review of this mission and how could it have been improved?

Before the mission, each window worked in a non-centralized way, and the MIS was cumbersome. Since everything was manual, verification was difficult and the risk of error high. In addition, the monitoring and maintenance of all the servers came at a significant cost. The centralization of data thanks to the new cloud-based MIS enables to monitor the situation of day-to-day operations and to guarantee the security and reliability of the information collected. MIS has thus saved us time, money and security. This gives us complete satisfaction today, even if the updates are sometimes faulty due to blackouts or poor internet connection in the country.

Thanks to MIS, have you improved customer satisfaction or developed new products or services?

The reliability of the information is now optimal, and we have 90% customer satisfaction. The new MIS has enabled us to offer new local services such as the digitalization of the tontine collection (daily collection of savings), the implementation of SMS Banking and the possibility to make loan disbursements or deposits regardless of the point of service. We want to strengthen the digitalization of information collection. To do this, we will equip our agents with digital tablets so that they can record, in the field, all information concerning potential customers.

 

 

The Foundation supports the financial inclusion of refugees

© Didier Gentilhomme

Since 2019, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation have joined forces to support refugee populations in Uganda.

The Foundation was selected by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the design and coordination of an innovative program in order to improve livelihoods, resilience and financial inclusion of refugees and host communities in Uganda.

Hanadi Tutunji, Financial Inclusion Officer at UNHCR reports on this joint four-year financial inclusion programme.

How is financial inclusion a sustainable solution for refugees in Uganda?

Uganda is home to about 1.5 million refugees and asylum-seekers, making it the largest refugee hosting country in Africa, and third in the world. It has one of the most progressive refugee policies in the world, and is the global lead in the implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). Refugees in Uganda live in settlements, which are close to the host communities, and they have access to the same social services such as health, education, water and sanitation, as well as livelihoods. They also enjoy the freedom of movement, right to work, and have been included in the country’s National development Plan III.

Uganda hosts 94 per cent of the refugees in 13 settlements located in South West and Northern part of the country. The remaining six per cent are located in urban areas around Kampala. Despite Uganda’s progressive and inclusive policies, the poverty rate among the refugee population is more than twice that of the host communities. This has a negative impact on their co-existence, and is a protection risk for both communities, especially the women, girls and persons with special needs.

In 2020, the World Food Programme reduced the food ration provided to refugees by 30 per cent, due to a reduction in their resource envelope. The effect it had on the refugees was further exasperated by the onset of COVID-19 and the impact of the countrywide lockdown thereafter. As a result of the lockdown,  13  per cent of refugees (especially those in the urban areas), lost their livelihoods, which further increased food and income insecurity.

Durable solutions are therefore needed to address both the humanitarian and development challenges Uganda faces, especially given the large number of refugees in the country.

In this regard, financial inclusion is important to promote access to resources, increase economic activity, and increase wage and self-employment opportunities. Financial and non-financial services offered to refugees help them meet their needs in a sustainable manner. Therefore, it is important to engage with the private sector and support its efforts to develop and provide tailored financial services to refugees, including access to savings, loans, insurance and remittance services.

Can you explain the specificities of the program?

The programme aims at enhancing access to credit for refugees and the host communities, so that they can develop income-generating activities. Ultimately, the objective of the programme is to improve the  self-reliance of approximately 100,000 households among these populations.

The programme, which draws on a mix of public and private funding, has three components: a lender guarantee fund, debt financing for three Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and technical assistance for MFIs and refugees.

UNHCR shares socio-economic data, facilitates access to refugees, trains MFI staff on refugee needs and protection, and oversees refugee participation in financial and business training. The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, with financial support from Sida, coordinates the technical assistance component of the programme, which includes providing refugees with non-financial services, such as business training and financial education. In addition, it covers  part of the initial set-up costs incurred by the MFIs, to expand their lending operations to refugees.

Thanks to the programme, the beneficiary MFIs have been able to open new branches in the districts of Moyo (Parlorinya settlement), Yumbe (Bidibidi settlement) and Isingiro (Nakivale settlement), where many refugees live. By the end of March 2021, 14,777 loans had been granted by the MFIs, of which, 6,423 (44 per cent) were granted to refugees. In addition, 19,294 people had received training. Since the programme targets both refugees and their host communities, it facilitates links between them thus, promoting their peaceful coexistence.

What are UNHCR’s financial inclusion priorities around the world?

Refugees’ financial needs evolve over time, depending on their displacement phase, ranging from survival cash at the time of arrival, to more comprehensive services such as savings, payments, and credit in a second stage.

Financial inclusion represents a bridge from humanitarian assistance to sustainable business development. UNHCR ensures that refugees, as well as vulnerable people in host communities, have access to affordable and appropriate financial services. It also ensures that,  responsible financial service providers deliver these services.

To strengthen financial inclusion, UNHCR will expand its partnerships and encourage partners to provide sustainable services to refugees, as well as  support them in their advocacy work, to improve the regulatory framework.

The Foundation provides the Plastic Odyssey LAB with skilled support

© Yann Vanbesien

Every minute, 19 tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean, less than 10% of the plastic produced is recycled and 80% of marine pollution comes from developing countries’ coastal cities.

Regarding this plastic crisis, Plastic Odyssey teams decided to take action by launching an expedition all around the world on their ambassador ship. Their goal? Build a global network of local plastic recycling initiatives. On board, sorting, recycling and pyrolysis technologies are made available to entrepreneurs to help them recover waste.

At the same time, Plastic Odyssey teams launched their “Plastic Odyssey Lab” (PO LAB) acceleration programme in order to provide recycling entrepreneurs with skilled support. Following a first call for proposals in France, six laureates joined their ambassador ship in July 2021.

On the agenda:

  • Technical support from Plastic Odyssey engineers. It will allow laureates to test their manufacturing processes using on-board recycling machines
  • Entrepreneurial support provided by the Crédit Agricole Group through the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and the Crédit Agricole regional Banks.

Benefiting from its expertise in the promotion of impact entrepreneurship, the Foundation has specifically designed training modules for PO LAB laureates, all of them start-ups:

« We have first analysed the projects and needs of the laureates, most of them well in advance of their entrepreneurial adventure. We also helped them draw-up an impact-oriented business plan or, in the case of the most advanced, to specify possible technical and financial partnerships in the impact sector. We had to analyse the needs that the PO LAB could meet during their incubation. Once their needs identified, we looked for the best experts of the Crédit Agricole regional Banks taking into account where the laureates came from. During the PO LAB, laureates benefited from individual sessions with each expert of the regional Banks and Village by CA on topics such as marketing, HR and local financing. In addition, group sessions were held with support from the Foundation on the financial structure and strategy of an impact company and the specificity of fundraising for impact start-ups. » – Céline Hyon-Naudin, Senior Investment Manager, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation.

Once the PO LAB is over, the Foundation will pursue its entrepreneurial support with the laureates by organising a new training session in Marseille this autumn:

« Individual sessions with the Foundation are planned after the PO LAB on specific topics in order to give some time to the laureates to integrate their technical test into their entrepreneurial project. We are currently working on these modules and the following topics could, for instance, be addressed: which business model to choose (NGO, ESUS, SAS)? What product strategy to adopt to best meet identified social and environmental needs? How to organise logistical flows (waste supply, stock management, distribution of finished products)? » – Céline Hyon-Naudin.

The ship is currently moored in Dunkirk and Plastic Odyssey teams plan to launch their Mediterranean expedition in late fall 2021. Other sessions of the PO LAB are planned in the countries of the Mediterranean basin. The network of the Crédit Agricole Group is also mobilised in Egypt and Morocco to support this acceleration programme. A good example of the collective commitment of the Crédit Agricole Group in line with its Societal Project.

 

Further information about the support of Crédit Agricole to Plastic Odyssey.