Dakar, Senegal, February 5, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will invest in
and provide advisory services to MicroCred Sénégal to help the microfinance
institution increase lending to micro and small entrepreneurs, who currently
have limited access to formal financial services and products.
IFC’s equity investment of 574.6 million
West African francs ($1.2 million) will help the institution expand activities,
initially in Dakar and at a later stage to other underserved urban areas
of Senegal. SONAM, a Senegalese insurance company, and Bank of Africa will
also invest 400 million West African francs ($850,000) and 100 million
West African francs ($200,000) in the institution, respectively.
IFC’s advisory services will support MicroCred
Sénégal through a grant to help them finance their expansion and improve
“Microfinance institutions play a key role
in helping improve the financial infrastructure in developing countries,”
said Ruben Dieudonné, CEO of MicroCred Sénégal. “Microcred’s partnership
with IFC will help our growth strategy.” In 2010, MicroCred Sénégal will
expand to Dakar’s downtown Plateau district, Senegal’s largest market
for microfinance and one of the largest commercial markets in West Africa.
Microfinance in Senegal is mostly provided
by credit cooperatives, and only about 2 percent of the population currently
has access to microfinance products and services. By investing in
MicroCred Sénégal, IFC will support the development of the first commercial
microfinance institution in Senegal.
In the next three years, IFC expects MicroCred
Sénégal to create 400 direct jobs and serve at least 50 thousand microfinance
clients, of which half will be women. Through increasing access to finance,
IFC also expects the institution to stimulate the local economy and reduce
“IFC’s investment in MicroCred Sénégal
is part of our global strategy to support micro, small and medium enterprises”
said Rachel Robbins, IFC Vice President and General Counsel. “Well managed,
commercially run microfinance institutions like MicroCred Sénégal are vital
for creating a sound microfinance sector, boosting lending to entrepreneurs
and attracting newcomers to increase competition”.
IFC’s microfinance strategy for Africa aims
to increase access to finance in the poorest areas through commercially
viable microfinance institutions. With this strategy, IFC plans to help
establish three or four such institutions annually over the next five years.
IFC is the only international financial institution
focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development
in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a
capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the
poor in developing countries—including by helping increase access to financial
services by supporting microfinance institutions.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster
sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private
sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About MicroCred Holding and MicroCred
MicroCred Holding is an investment company,
based in Paris, France and sponsored by PlaNet Finance, that aims to create
a network of commercial MFIs offering financial services to low-income
entrepreneurs who do not have access to the traditional financial sector.
MicroCred Sénégal S.A. was created in early
2007 and is headquartered in Dakar, Senegal. At the end of 2009, it had
about 12 thousand clients and an outstanding portfolio of XOF 4.5 billion,
approximately EUR 7 million.