Guarantee of €1M *
(equivalent in local currency)
(1 guarantee granted)
*Outstanding amount at grant valuePartner website
The agricultural sector represents 12.3% of the GDP and employs 38.7% of the active population. Although the country experienced an improvement in living standards and a concomitant decline in poverty and vulnerability between 2001 and 2014, subjective poverty remains high, especially in rural areas.
Created in 1999 by the NGO Al Amal, the microfinance institution Fondation Al Karama provides loans for the development of professional activities as well as technical assistance to Moroccans, and more particularly to female Moroccans, with low incomes.
The AL KARAMA Microfinance Foundation offers financial inclusion services through microcredit products, promotes the socio-economic development of poor women, providing affordable financial services for the creation of income-generating and employment-generating activities, and technical services aimed at assisting, supervising and supporting small projects.
Solidarity Notebooks: a Solidarity Banker in Morocco
Launched by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA in June 2018, Solidarity Banker is a skills volunteering programme open to all Crédit Agricole group employees for microfinance institutions or impact businesses supported by the Foundation. Discover the Column of Sarah Belbachir, Solidarity Banker of Crédit Agricole SA.
Solidarity Banker… but, why?
The first time I spoke to my acquaintances about the Solidarity Bankers programme, I was told «banker and solidarity … isn’t that a bit contradictory?» For many, these two words have a hard time resonating in unison. However, when I discovered the Solidarity Bankers programme, I met passionate people, sincere ambitions and concrete actions. Far from being fine words, the programme won me over by the values ??it inspires and its willingness to work directly on the ground.
So I immediately applied for a mission to strengthen the anti-money laundering and ant-terrorism financing system (AML-ATF) of Al Karama, an institution funded by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit du Maroc that offers microloans to people excluded from the traditional banking system, in particular women.
Very soon after applying, I had confirmation that my application had been accepted. My mission therefore began in Montrouge, at the premises of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation for the preparation phase. With the help of Edouard, Violette and Carolina (1), we defined the schedule and the objectives. They introduced me to the main concepts of microfinance, and provided me with specific contextual elements on Al Karama, on the Moroccan economy and the microfinance sector in Morocco.
Take-off to Rabat!
On July 13, I finally flew to Rabat. For ten days, I was going to devote myself to a topic that was part of my area of ??expertise, but in a different sector, in a different size structure and in a cultural context different from my daily life.
The first two days were devoted to raising awareness among top management on the risks linked to AML-ATF and how to prevent them. AML-ATF training was organised by Crédit du Maroc teams within the framework of a skill-sharing patronage. It was an opportunity to exchange views on Crédit du Maroc’s VSE / SME financing practices and understand the market in which Moroccan microfinance institutions will diversify.
The discussions that followed with Al Karama’s team allowed me to familiarise myself with the functioning of the institution, to identify the strengths in terms of AML-ATF and the elements needing strengthening.
The next step was to elaborate a more detailed action plan, so that Al Karama integrates its AML-ATF obligations gradually and according to priorities. In collaboration with Edouard Sers of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, who joined me on this part of the mission, we thus defined precise recommendations, with one manager per action and a three-year implementation schedule. The challenge was to draw up a realistic and achievable action plan for Al Karama, in light of its ressources and its workforce.
The action plan was very well received by the Al Karama Executive Committee to which we presented it on the last day of the mission. The next step is now in the hands of Al Karama, who will implement this roadmap.
My mission was punctuated by two visits that marked my experience. Al Karama organised visits to agencies and clients, one in urban areas and the other one in rural areas. The first took place in the city of Temara, on the outskirts of Rabat. After some discussions with the branch manager and loan officers, we visited a client who received a microcredit in his traditional Moroccan clothing store. This first visit allowed me to better understand the functioning of a microcredit agency and to see how the procedures are actually applied in the field.
The second visit took place in Larache, in the north of Morocco. We first visited a rural agency which offers agricultural services to the inhabitants of the region. We went to a watermelon and peanuts field to meet with a farmer who has received a microcredit to develop its activity with a larger field. I was able to confirm the impact of microcredit on the development of small farming and the strengthening of rural economies.
These meetings allowed me to understand microfinance as closely as possible and to see what concrete finance can achieve. But above all, these meetings have been an unforgettable human experience.
This was just a taste … I came back to Paris with the desire to get further involved.
With my thanks to the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation for its support throughout the mission, in particular Carolina Herrera, Edouard Sers, Eric Campos and Violette Cubier; to the teams of Al Karama and Credit du Maroc for the welcome and the richness of our exchanges; to François Baudienville and Marie-Françoise Chabriol of the Compliance Department of Crédit Agricole S.A. for their support; to Lucie Brochard and Yann Dos Anjos of the Human Resources Department for the great video report on the mission; as well as Christelle Alexandre and Aurélie Cacciotti for contractual and logistical aspects.
(1) Edouard Sers (Head of Risk and Social Performance), Violette Cubier (Investment Manager), Carolina Herrera (Head of Communication & Investors and Partners relations)
Meeting N°4 of the Foundation’s Friends Club: the Solidarity Banker program 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 banker: 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.
Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit du Maroc are committed to Moroccan microfinance
An innovative partnership to support microfinance
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit du Maroc are committed to the microfinance sector in Morocco. They set up an intervention scheme that allows Crédit du Maroc to finance the microfinance institution in local currency with the guarantee of the Foundation, which also takes care of the monitoring process.
Created in 2008 by Crédit Agricole’s managers and the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Professor Yunus, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation finances and supports more than 75 microfinance institutions and social enterprises in Africa, Asia and Europe with more than €80 million in outstanding loans. Crédit du Maroc has been supporting the country’s economic development by financing individual and corporate customers since 1929.
With this partnership, Crédit du Maroc is strengthening its action as a bank committed to inclusive finance. “The partnership with the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation will allow us to get as close as possible to the ecosystem of the very small company and income-generating activities, which represents half of the companies registered in Morocco’s central commercial register. It also marks Crédit du Maroc’s civic commitment as a socially responsible company by participating in financial inclusion,” says Baldoméro Valverde, Chairman of Crédit du Maroc’s Executive Board.
For the Foundation, this is a great opportunity to multiply its impact by intervening for the first time in Morocco. “Ten years after the Foundation’s creation, we are building a new history with the Crédit Agricole Group. Alongside Crédit du Maroc, we will support Moroccan institutions to promote social entrepreneurship, financial inclusion and agricultural development. It is a common, tireless commitment to move forward together towards a more shared economy,” says Eric Campos, Managing Director of the Foundation and Head of CSR at Crédit Agricole S.A.
Al Karama, the first funded institution
The Foundation approved a guarantee of €1.1 million on a MAD10.4 million loan granted by Crédit du Maroc to the Al Karama Foundation for Microfinance.
This institution, which provides loans for the development of professional activities, serves more than 27,000 active borrowers, mainly women (57% of clients) and manages a portfolio of more than €10 million. It has operations throughout the country through a network of 84 branches and 314 employees.
In cooperation with Crédit du Maroc, Al Karama will also receive technical assistance to improve its systems to combat money laundering and terrorist financing (AML-FT) as part of the “Solidarity Banker” skills volunteer programme. This scheme, open to all Crédit Agricole Group employees, was launched in 2018 by the Grameen Crédit Agricole and Crédit Agricole S.A. Foundation to support the organisations financed by the Foundation through technical assistance missions (//gca-foundation.org/banquier-solidaire).
A first successful year for the Solidarity banker programme
By Carolina Herrera, Fondation Grameen Crédit Agricole
At the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole S.A., “Solidarity Banker” missions are offered to Crédit Agricole Group employees on behalf of microfinance institutions or companies with a social impact supported by the Foundation.
Senegal, Morocco, Haiti… : a great success for the first year
Less than a year after its launch in 2018, the success of the program confirms the commitment and willingness of employees to support projects with a social impact. This is the first time that a partnership of this type has been launched by Crédit Agricole and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. The objective is twofold: on the one hand, to enhance the skills of Crédit Agricole Group employees and, on the other hand, to provide additional support to the Foundation’s microfinance institutions and partner companies with one- to two-week missions in the field.
In 2018, six missions were launched, three of which were carried out in 2018 and three planned for 2019. For example, a mission took place in Cambodia with the support of Crédit Agricole’s International Retail Banking (BPI) to support the human resources management of Chamroeun, a partner microfinance institution serving more than 27,500 clients. Another mission was carried out in Senegal, in partnership with Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté, in favour of Laiterie du Berger, a social enterprise in which the Foundation is a shareholder. In addition, with the support of the Regional Bank, the Solidarity Banker who carried out the mission left for 2 years to support Kossam, the Dairy’s project to structure the dairy sector in Senegal.
A mission launched in 2018 will be carried out in July 2019 in cooperation with Crédit du Maroc and Crédit Agricole SA to improve the Al Karama Foundation’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing systems (AML-FT). The institution currently supports more than 26,200 clients in Morocco. Another mission launched in 2018 will be carried out in Haiti to support Palmis Enèji, a social enterprise that offers clean and accessible cooking and lighting solutions to Haitian households. Crédit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank supports the Solidarity Banker, who will carry out the entire mission in terms of skills sponsorship.
Cambodia, Kenya, Tajikistan… in 2019 the programme scales up
To date, six missions have been launched in 2019. A mission in favour of Kossam, the Laiterie du Berger project, which aims to develop a sustainable dairy sector in Senegal. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for supporting Kossam in the deployment of a digital “commcare collection” application. Another mission is planned to support the financial management and organizational structure of Cirque Phare (PPSE) in Cambodia. PPSE aims to promote the social inclusion and empowerment of young people through Cambodian culture and arts. A mission will take place in favour of ACRE Africa, which provides crop insurance services to smallholders. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for analysing the organisation’s new business strategy.
For these first missions launched in 2019, the selection process for Solidarity Bankers has been finalised. To date, three new missions are to be filled: a mission to support the “business model” of Humo, a microfinance institution in Tajikistan; a “management control” mission to support Musoni, a microfinance institution in Kenya; and a “digital” mission to support SFA, a social enterprise in Senegal.
Other missions are currently being planned with the support of the Crédit Agricole Group’s entities and Regional Banks. With this scheme, the Group reaffirms its commitment to support employees’ solidarity initiatives and work alongside the Foundation to promote more inclusive and sustainable finance.
Follow the Group's employees committed to the Solidarity Banker missions
This summer, follow on Instagram the Group’s employees who have committed themselves to the “Solidarity Banker” missions.
Solidarity Banker is a skills volunteering programme open to all Crédit Agricole Group employees for organisations funded by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. Created in 2008, the Foundation supports over 75 microfinance institutions and social enterprises in some 30 countries.
Since the launch of the programme in June 2018, 12 missions have been proposed. This is a great success and it demonstrates the commitment of employees and the Group to support projects with a social impact.
This summer, we will follow three solidarity bankers throughout their missions: a first “digital” mission to support a Senegalese social enterprise, a “business plan” mission to support a Haitian social enterprise and a “Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT)” mission to support a microfinance institution in Morocco.
A Solidarity Banker from Crédit Agricole CIB in Senegal
From Sunday 30 June, follow Haoly Basse, who, with the support of Crédit Agricole CIB, is heading to Senegal to support KOSSAM, a social enterprise that works with nearly 450 local farmers and aims to develop a sustainable dairy sector in the North of the country. Haoly will support Kossam in the deployment of a digital application that will improve collection conditions and KOSSAM’s knowledge of breeder-suppliers.
A great story to add: KOSSAM is now managed by Jonathan Michaud, an agricultural engineer from Crédit Agricole Franche Comté who, after a mission as a Solidarity Banker for La Laiterie du Berger, was seconded for 2 years to support the development of the project.
A Solidarity Banker from Crédit Agricole SA in Morocco
On July 13th, Sarah Belbachir, a Solidarity Banker from Crédit Agricole SA went to Morocco to support the Al Karam Foundation, a partner microfinance institutionof the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. The mission, which is done in cooperation with Crédit du Maroc, which organized a training session in skills sponsorship, and Crédit Agricole SA, aims at improving the Alkarama Foundation’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing systems (AML-FT). The institution currently supports more than 26,200 clients in Morocco.
Visit the Group’s Instagram account @groupecreditagricolecareers !
For further information, visit //gca-foundation.org/solidarity-banker
Contact Carolina Herrera
Banquiers solidaires, the Crédit Agricole Group's volunteer programme
Many Crédit Agricole Group employees volunteer for solidarity projects. To support this dynamic, the Group launched “CA Solidaires”, a programme that promotes employee commitment to projects with positive social impact. It is within this framework that a new commitment scheme is now proposed to the group’s employees: Solidarity Leaves. On the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA, skill-based voluntary missions carrying the “Banquier Solidaire” label are proposed to employees on behalf of microfinance institutions or “social business” companies, partners of the Foundation.
This is a unique partnership in the history of Crédit Agricole and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. With “Banquier Solidaire,” the Group and the Foundation are capitalizing on their synergies and stepping up their action in favour of sustainable finance. The objective is to provide additional advice and guidance for the microfinance and social businesses supported by the Foundation via pro bono missions carried out by the staff of the Crédit Agricole Group.
First missions in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Cambodia
The first mission under the “Banquier Solidaire” programme was carried out in Burkina Faso, in cooperation with Crédit Agricole Assurances. Eduardo Cardoso de Miranda, an expert in borrowers insurance at CA Insurance, provided guidance and support for the Foundation during a due diligence exercise at CIF-VIE. Created in 2013 with the support of the RCPB, the main microfinance cooperative network in Burkina Faso, and the NGO ADA, CIF-VIE intervenes in the micro-insurance sector and holds 6% of the shares of the local market. Taking a new step in its growth at this time, CIF-VIE is opening its capital to new shareholders. Thanks to the contributions by CA Assurance, the Foundation has been able to get a better understanding of the structure and to assess the possibility of investing in it. The assessment of the CIF-VIE financing file is in progress.
A second mission was carried out in Senegal for the Laiterie du Berger, a social company in which the Foundation is a shareholder, which today supports over 800 Peuls stockbreeders in the north of the country. With the support of Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté (shareholder of the Laiterie du Berger), Jonathan Michaud, an agricultural engineer from the Regional Bank, embarked on a technical assistance mission for two weeks. The aim was to structure an operating framework to be able to go from experimentation to deployment for 15 pilot mini-farms of the Laiterie du Berger. As a result of the mission, an action plan was formalized and a more ambitious cooperation was planned between Crédit Agricole Franche Comté and the Laiterie du Berger.
In cooperation with Crédit Agricole’s International Retail Banking (BPI), a mission was held in September and October in favour of Chamroeun, a microfinance institution supported by the Foundation. François Galland, International Human Resources Manager, spent two weeks in the field to help improve the HR management of Chamroeun, a microfinance institution supported by the Foundation. The HR strategy that will be charted following the mission will be geared to providing support for the organisation restructuring of Chamroeun, which today serves over 25,200 clients in Cambodia, including 82% women.
Upcoming missions in Morocco and Kazakhstan
Before the end of 2018, two other missions could be launched in favour of Al-Karama in Morocco and KMF in Kazakhstan. Al-Karama today serves over 26,200 clients in Morocco. It should benefit from financing and technical assistance under a cooperation scheme by and between the Foundation and Crédit du Maroc, including a mission of “Banquier Solidaire” to improve its systems for the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism. KMF is the largest microfinance institution in Kazakhstan with more than 220 000 active borrowers and a €257 million portfolio. KMF will welcome a Crédit Agricole expert to help it develop its products and services offering.
The commitment of the Crédit Agricole Group alongside the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation is being bolstered with “Banquier Solidaire,” which marks the commitment of the mutualist Group for a sustainable finance that promotes a more responsible and better-shared economy.
How to apply?
There are several missions pending for CA Solidaires. To discover them:
Go to the CA Solidaires website “Find your mission ”
Enter “Grameen Foundation” in the search bar: All the Solidarity Leaves will appear!
Click on the offer of your choice and you will find all the information you need to apply.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org