Loan of €3.1M *
(equivalent in local currency)
*Outstanding amount at grant value
South Africa is an emerging country with an increasingly diversified economy, but remains unable to achieve a drastic reduction in extreme poverty. This explains why the pursuit of strong economic growth takes precedence over other progress. The agricultural sector also has to cope with drought.
The Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) is a Tier 2 microfinance institution created in 1992 by two South African individuals. Its mission is to endeavour actively to eradicate poverty by reaching the poor and very poor with a range of financial and non-financial services so as to enable them to attain their potential.
SEF started its operations in Limpopo Province, the country’s poorest region. Although its presence there is still strong, its reach has expanded. The institution is now present in 6 provinces and serves 99% of women, helping them overcome the financial, economic and social barriers that contribute to individual, family and community poverty.
Solidarity Bankers missions to be filled in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and South Africa
Launched in June 2018 at the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA, Solidarity Bankers is a skills volunteering programme aimed at all Crédit Agricole Group employees in favour of microfinance institutions and social impact businesses supported by the Foundation. Three new missions are to be filled in 2021 in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and South Africa.
“Marketing Strategy” mission in Georgia
Lazika Capital, one of the leading microfinance institutions in Georgia. Established in 2000, Lazika provides financial services to low-income people, smallholder farmers and microentrepreneurs. The organisation operates through 18 branches, mainly in rural areas of Georgia (70% of active borrowers are rural).
The Solidarity Bankers mission aims to support Lazika in the development of a marketing plan for mid-2021-2022. If the health context allows it, the mission will be carried out in June or July 2021 in Georgia. If not, the mission will be postponed.
“Social and environmental performance” mission in Kyrgyzstan
Salym is a microfinance institution that provides affordable loans and deposits to support income-generating activities of low-income populations in Kyrgyzstan. The organisation currently has 23 branches across Kyrgyzstan and serves over 18,000 active borrowers, 52% of whom are women and 70% of whom live in rural areas.
A two-week Solidarity Bankers mission is planned to support Salym in managing its social and environmental performance. If the health context allows it, the mission will be carried out in September or October 2021 in Kyrgyzstan. If not, the mission can be carried out online.
“AML-CFT” mission in South Africa
SEF is a microfinance institution established in 1992 that provides financial and non-financial services to poor people in South Africa. The institution has 225,317 active borrowers (100% of women in living rural areas).
A Solidarity Bankers mission is to be filled to support SEF in the framing and training of its key employees on the risks associated with money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The field mission will take place in South Africa over a two-weeks period, if the sanitary conditions linked to Covid-19 allow it.
Two online missions are still available
A first “digital / IT” mission is available to support Smart Credit, a microfinance institution funded by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation in Moldova. The mission of the Solidarity Banker will be to help build the digital strategy of Smart Credit. A second “financial management” mission is to be filled in favour of FATEN, a microfinance institution located in Palestine. The Crédit Agricole expert will support FATEN in updating financial procedures, policies and tools. These missions will be carried out remotely at the rate of one day per week, for 15 weeks.
How to apply?
To access the detailed offers of the missions:
- Go to the CA Solidaires website “Find a project“
- Enter in the search bar: “Grameen Foundation”. All the Solidarity Bankers’ offers will appear!
- Click on the offer of your choice. You will find all the information you need to apply.
Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Foundation continues its development in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation continues to make significant investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, its priority intervention area, with three new investments.
In South Africa, the Foundation financed SEF. Founded in 1992 in Limpopo province, the poorest region of the country, SEF provides microcredit to women living in poor, rural communities. SEF has gained considerable international recognition for its poverty-targeting methodology, the Participatory Wealth Ranking, one of the first such tools officially recognised and promoted by the Microcredit Summit Campaign. The institution that serves 197,359 active borrowers (99% of women and 56% of clients below the National Poverty Line), has been granted a first loan equivalent to €3 million in local currency from the Foundation.
Similarly, the Foundation granted a first loan in local currency equivalent to € 250,000 to the microfinance institution MLF Zambia. The MicroLoan Foundation Zambia (MLF-Z) is a not-for-profit specialist microfinance provider that was established in 2008. Its activities are overseen by the Microloan Foundation which has its headquarters in the UK and is regulated by the Charity Commission. MLF-Z’s main activity is providing low-income women living in predominantly rural areas of Eastern, Southern and Central Provinces of Zambia with short-term loans for productive purposes. The institution, that lends exclusively to women, serves over 11,000 active borrowers. This investment has been conducted within the framework of the African Facility scheme, implemented in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD).
Also within the framework of the African Facility, the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation has granted a new loan to the microfinance institution PMBF SA (ex-SOFIPE) in Burkina Faso, for a total amount in local currency equivalent to € 750,000 over a three-year period. PMBF-SA is a microfinance institution that grants loans and offers financing for imports and other financial products to small entrepreneurs. As of today, the institution serves around 17,000 clients, 67% of which are women.
Further information on the Foundation partners here.
The Foundation invests for the first time in South Africa
In October, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation invested for the first time in South Africa with the microfinance institution Phakamani Foundation.
The Phakamani Foundation is a microfinance institution that empowers poor women to succeed at microenterprise. The Phakamani’s microenterprise programme is modelled on the internationally renowned Grameen Bank. Its system of training, group borrowing, and on-going support brings both accountability and practical assistance to the development of the microenterprises.
The programme targets rural and peri-urban areas with very high unemployment. The neediest people within these communities are identified by using a household index, an asset test, and a basic interview. Women who may be interested in starting their own microenterprises are invited to learn about Phakamani’s programme. To date, the institution has over 31,000 female clients all located in rural areas and manages a portfolio of nearly € 3 million.
With this investment, the Foundation is now present in 38 countries, 48% of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. A second investment in South Africa is being finalised in favour of SEF, a microfinance institution that serves 197,359 active borrowers (99% of women). This new investment will contribute to strengthening the Foundation’s presence in sub-Saharan Africa.