[chapeau]SIDI announces the1st closing of the new FEFISOL II fund, dedicated to financing rural microfinance and small family farms in Africa, at 22.5 million euros, with a technical support envelope of one million euros.[/chapeau]
The FEFISOL II Fund is designed to help meet the crucial challenges of financing vulnerable populations in rural areas of Africa, with a particular focus on financing the agricultural sector.
Financing the agricultural sector is of crucial importance in terms of food security, employment and resilience in the face of climate change, and also in terms of the financial inclusion of women who, despite representing more than half of the agricultural workforce, often do not have the same access to financing as men.
Although it makes a major contribution to many African economies, and its growth directly contributes to poverty reduction, the agricultural sector is still poorly served financially, as it is often perceived as too risky or not profitable enough.
FEFISOL II is structured to provide financial and technical support for solutions designed locally to meet these challenges. The fund will continue to target agricultural entities sourcing most of their supplies from sustainable family farming. It will be managed by Inpulse, a Brussels-based management company – a subsidiary of SIDI and Crédit Coopératif.
In addition to the two founders, SIDI and Alterfin, most of the investors in FEFISOL have renewed their commitment to the new fund. In particular, Agence Française de Développement’s private sector subsidiary Proparco, the European Investment Bank and the French social banks Crédit Coopératif and Banca Etica in Italy have renewed their commitment. New investors are also joining the initiative: the Belgian investment company for developing countries BIO, the Alternative Bank of Switzerland (BAS), and the NGO SOS Faim Luxembourg. The technical support package is financed by Proparco.
These commitments will enable the Fund to pursue its social mission and be even more ambitious in terms of social and environmental performance. FEFISOL II will be implemented in over 28 African countries, and should eventually support 110 microfinance institutions or agricultural companies and cooperatives sourcing from smallholders, most of them Fair Trade or organic certified. The first disbursements will be made in July 2022.
By supporting the implementation of socially and environmentally sustainable practices, FEFISOL II directly aims to improve the living standards of vulnerable populations in rural Africa, reduce inequalities and promote sustainable agricultural development.