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FMO and Advans Côte d’Ivoire signed a 5-year loan agreement to support on-lending to micro-entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Côte d’Ivoire, a fragile country. The loan is provided in the nation’s local currency, the West-African Franc (XOF), at the equivalent of at least EUR 5 million. The transaction will enhance much needed access to finance for small entrepreneurs and support job creation.
Advans Côte d’Ivoire was launched in 2012 and is currently the country’s second largest microfinance institution. It focuses on increasing access to finance for local MSMEs. FMO’s 5-year loan will provide stable local currency funding on which to base consolidation and further growth.
The loan is being provided by the MASSIF Fund, which FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch government and focuses on investing in the growth of financial institutions in the least developed countries. The MASSIF Fund aims to take the early high investment risks and act as a catalyst for the growth of the private financial sector and financial inclusion, easing the way for other investors to follow in these frontier markets.
Jeroen Harteveld, MASSIF Fund Manager, said: “This loan will help improve access to finance in Côte d’Ivoire, a fragile country that has shown strong economic development. By targeting small entrepreneurs, Advans supports job creation and reduced inequalities.”
Gael Briot, CEO of Advans Côte d’Ivoire, said: “FMO’s support will contribute to furthering our mission to accelerate the financial inclusion of small businesses and farmers in the country, so as to help them grow their businesses and improve their living conditions.”
Through the MASSIF Fund, FMO has been a shareholder in Advans Côte d’Ivoire since its inception.