Loan of €3 M *
(equivalent in local currency)
*Outstanding amount at grant valuePartner website
Cambodia’s economy has been growing rapidly since the mid- 1990s. The weight of the primary sector in the economy remains significant despite the increase in the tertiary sector following the advent of tourism. Fishing and agriculture alone employ 70% of the population.
Chamroeun is a Cambodian microfinance institution with social purpose writ large in its business model. It provides financial services to the poorest segments of society, who are excluded from the offer of more commercial microfinance institutions.
In addition to the financial component, Chamroeun also offers a range of training and economic, social and personal support services in order to maximize the impact of credit and provide effective help to very poor families.
Survey on the financial inclusion of people with disabilities in Cambodia
In Cambodia, at least 10% of the population have some form of disability, and are often victims of social and economic exclusion and stigma. Strengthening their ability to use financial services can contribute to breaking the cycle between disability and poverty. In this context, a study was carried out by Chamroeun Microfinance Plc and Good return to better understand the needs and obstacles faced by people with disabilities in accessing financial services.
The results of the study show the link between disability and exclusion and the still untapped opportunities to break this cycle. Indeed, while only 30% of the 513 respondents have used financial services, over 50% are considering a future loan, mainly for entrepreneurial activities, and 90% see the benefits in attending financial education training.
This study will help structure the “Education & Access: Responsible Service for People with Disabilities” project under the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Programme which aims to improve access for people with disabilities to responsible finance.
Supported by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation since 2010, Chamroeun Microfinance Plc is a Cambodian microfinance institution that provides financial services to the poorest populations and also offers them training and support services. It now serves nearly 43,000 clients, 81% of whom are women and 65% of whom live in rural areas.
Access the study here
Chamroeun, partner of Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation earns Smart Certification
The Smart Campaign, a global initiative to incorporate strong client protection principles into the financial inclusion industry, has publicly recognised Chamroeun, partner of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation since 2010, as Client Protection Certified for meeting strong standards of client care.
The institution joins more than 115 others in over 40 countries that have been certified since the programme was launched in January 2013.
“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Chamroeun,” said Isabelle Barrès, Director of the Smart Campaign. “Their willingness to do the work it takes to prepare for and undergo the intensive process of evaluation is indicative of their deep commitment to their clients. They have shown that this bar is achievable in the area of client protection. Their example will catalyze a movement towards certification within the broader industry.”
The Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Certification programme publicly recognizes those institutions providing financial services to low-income households whose standards of care uphold the Smart Campaign’s seven Client Protection Principles. These principles cover such important areas such as pricing, transparency, fair and respectful treatment and prevention of over-indebtedness. The certification programme contains a rigorous set of standards against which institutions are evaluated by independent, third-party raters that are licensed by the Smart Campaign. The raters are established, specialized rating agencies with extensive experience, having analyzed hundreds of institutions to date.
Chamroeun has long demonstrated a commitment to client protection. Prior to undergoing certification, the institution was evaluated by the Smart Campaign on its practices and contributed to the development of Campaign tools to help advance the sector.
Further information on Chamroeun, cliquez here.
The Foundation grants a €330,000-loan to Chamroeun in Cambodia
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation granted a €330,000-loan over a period of two years to the MFI Chamroeun in Cambodia, in which it has had a 20% shareholding stake since 2012. With this new loan, the Foundation’s cumulative investment in this company amounted to €1.6 million at the end of December 2017.
Chamroeun is a microfinance institution that puts the social purpose at the heart of its economic model. It provides financial services to the poorest segments of the population who are excluded from the offer of more commercial microfinance institutions. To maximize the impact of the loan and to provide effective help to very underprivileged families, it offers them a set of training and economic, social and personal services. At the end of September 2017, the institution had 24,530 active customers, including 81% with an average loan equivalent to €315 granted to its customers.
Created in 2008, under the joint impetus of the directors of Crédit Agricole S.A. and Professor Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Grameen Bank, the Grameen Crédit Agricole SA Foundation is a multi-business operator that contributes to the fight against poverty through financial inclusion and entrepreneurship with a social impact. As an investor, lender, technical assistance coordinator and fund advisor, the Foundation supports microfinance institutions and social enterprises in nearly 40 countries.
Four new investments in Asia for the Foundation
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has made three new investments in Asia, including one to a new partner in India.
In partnership with CA CIB India, the Foundation has granted a guarantee equivalent to € 5 million to the Indian microfinance institution Annapurna, for a loan granted in local currency by CA CIB India. Annapurna Finance Pvt. Ltd (AFPL) was established in 2009, and is now one of the top ten NBFC-MFIs in the country. The institution was established with a purpose of serving the economically backward clients by bringing them to mainstream, providing need based financial services at their doorstep. Its main objectives are to provide financial assistance for economic empowerment, to offer tailor made, need based products for catering to every life cycle need of the clients and to give priority to women and to involve them directly in production activities through Self-help groups and access to finance, so that the opportunities are created for additional income. As of today, the institution serves 1.6 million active borrowers, 99% of which are women and 85% of which live in rural areas.
Similarly, in Myanmar, the Foundation has granted a new loan for a total amount equivalent to € 2.3 million in local currency over a four-year period to VisionFund Myanmar, a microfinance institution that lends small sums of money to people who do not have a measurable credit history, assets to secure the loans, or access to mainstream financial providers. As of today, VisionFund Myanmar serves over 190,000 clients, 86% of whom are women and 59% of whom live in rural areas.
Also in Myanmar, the Foundation has granted a new loan in local currency equivalent to € 1.8 million over a four-year period to Proximity Designs, on behalf of Proximity Finance, a microfinance programme whose mission is to addres extreme poverty by treating the poor as customers. To date, the programme has 117,000 active borrowers, 69% of whom are women.
Finally, in Cambodia, the Foundation has granted a loan equivalent to € 1.6 million to Chamroeun, a historical partner of the Foundation since 2010. Chamroeun is a microfinance institution that provides financial services to the poorest, those excluded from the range of more commercial microfinance institutions. The institution serves over 30,000 clients, 82% of whom are women.
To date, the Foundation has 16 partners in Asia for a total portfolio of € 25 million which represents 27% of the outstanding portfolio of the Foundation os of November.
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.
The Foundation is making new investments in Asia
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has made new investments in its Asian partners with five loans granted in Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
It has thus granted a €2.1 million loan to KOMIDA, a historical partner of the Foundation which is active in Indonesia exclusively among women. KOMIDA is a microfinance NGO which started to provide microloans in 2005 to the population hit hard by the tsunami in Banda Aceh province. The institution was transformed into a savings and loan cooperative in 2008 and now has more than 545,000 clients.
The Foundation has moreover granted a €1.1 million loan to Proximity in Myanmar. Proximity Finance is a microfinance programme developed by Proximity Designs intended to eradicate extreme poverty in the country by treating the poor as clients and by proposing innovative and affordable technologies and services to the families it finances and which earn their living by cultivating small plots of land. The institution has nearly 100,000 clients, 66% of whom are women.
In Sri Lanka, the Foundation granted a new €347,000 loan to Berendina, a microfinance institution dedicated to reducing poverty and improving the living conditions of the poorest groups in the country. Berendina today has 99,000 clients, 87% of whom are women. All its clients are in rural areas.
Finally, in Cambodia, the Foundation has granted two loans to Ankor Mikroheranhvatho (Kampuchea) Co. Ltd (AMK) and to Chamroeun of €2.5 million and €973,000 respectively. AMK provides loans mainly through village banking, giving priority to poor women in rural areas, and to farming activities. Since 2010, the institution has also been authorized to collect savings. It has nearly 325,000 clients at this time, 93% of whom are in rural areas, and 81% women. For its part, Chamroeun, which has 26,300 clients, is a microfinance institution that puts social purpose at the heart of its economic model. It provides financial services to the poorest segments of the population along with a range of training and support services.
At the end of December 2018, the Asia region, where the Foundation has 14 partners, accounted for 25% of all the commitments and 17.6% of new loans provided in the course of the period.
For more information on the Foundation’s partners, click here.
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