Discover SIDI’s 2021 activity report

The 2021 Activity Report is online!

The year 2021 was still very much marked by the effects of the Covid19 pandemic, but let us salute everyone’s commitment, which enabled SIDI to pursue its mission as a solidarity investor serving the financial and economic inclusion of populations excluded from conventional financial systems.

Discover the performances and achievements of SIDI and its partner organizations, all committed to ecological and social transition. Aware of the significant financing and support needs that remain, SIDI is fully mobilized to respond to the ever-increasing challenges facing the most vulnerable populations.

Let’s stick to our course and our ambition to promote socially responsible finance!

 

 

 

 

View the webinar on partner support

[chapeau]You can watch or re-watch this new edition of Les Témoins en Actes webinar on support, the cornerstone of the solidarity investor’s mission.[/chapeau]

The webinar featured Abdou-Rasmané OUEDRAOGO, Managing Director of Union des Baoré Tradition d’Epargne et de Crédit (UBTEC). UBTEC is a microfinance institution that operates mainly in rural areas of northern Burkina Faso, in the Sahelian zone, while maintaining a strong peasant base thanks to the fact that it was founded by Burkina Faso’s main peasant federation.

SIDI’s General Manager, in dialogue with SIDI’s partnership manager, came to talk about the relationship forged with SIDI to support farmers in the Ecological and Social Transition. Support from the ACTES Foundation has made it possible to finance and support the agro-ecological practices of UBTEC members.

 

SIDI’s strategic plan unveiled

This issue of Carnets de la SIDI is devoted entirely to the main conclusions of the analysis of SIDI’s 2017-2021 strategic plan.

This analysis was carried out jointly by the team and the governing bodies, and also included an in-depth survey of the partners, who were invited to anonymously assess the team’s achievements over the past five years, providing SIDI with a demanding mirror on its actions.

Indeed, SIDI must be objective about the effects of its mission, all the more so as it implements a financial solidarity made possible by the conscious commitment of its stakeholders. This is why SIDI analyses its support to partners honestly and transparently, and checks that this analysis corresponds to their perception.

This notebook gives an idea of all the work we’ve done, particularly in support of the Ecological and Social Transition (TES). Over the past five years, we have shown that this is a fundamental issue for our partners, as we prepare for current and future ecological shocks.

Enjoy your reading!

 

cover page notebook n°15

Click on the image to consult the Carnet

Webinar: Partner support

[chapeau]To strengthen its support for its partners, SIDI has created the ACTES Foundation under the aegis of the Terre Solidaire Foundation. In this new webinar, Les Témoins en Actes focuses on support, the cornerstone of the solidarity investor’s mission.[/chapeau]

To find out more about the tailor-made support provided by the ACTES Foundation to SIDI’s partners, we invite you to a new ” Témoins en ACTES ” event on Thursday March 31 from 5 to 6.30pm.

This time we welcome Abdou-Rasmané OUEDRAOGO, Managing Director of Union des Baoré Tradition d’Epargne et de Crédit (UBTEC).

UBTEC is a microfinance institution that operates mainly in rural areas of northern Burkina Faso, in the Sahelian zone, while maintaining a strong peasant base thanks to the fact that it was founded by Burkina Faso’s main peasant federation.

The Managing Director of SIDI will give us his account, in dialogue with SIDI’s partnership manager, of the relationship forged with SIDI to support farmers in the Ecological and Social Transition. Support from the ACTES Foundation has made it possible to finance and support the agro-ecological practices of UBTEC members.

1h30 of discussions to better understand the links between SIDI’s investment and support activities, and the challenges it faces in consolidating its support mission with its partners.

Register for the webinar here

The first edition of Les Témoins en Actes webinar welcomed Assata DOUMBIA, producer and president of the ECAM cooperative in Côte d’Ivoire. You can read his testimonial and watch the webinar again:

[CP] EIB lends €5 million to FEFISOL II fund

[CP] European Investment Bank lends €5 million to FEFISOL II to finance Africa’s agricultural sector

 

Building on the success of FEFISOL, the first impact fund dedicated to the rural world in Africa, which closed in 2021, its two founders, SIDI and Alterfin, have been actively working on the creation of a new fund: FEFISOL II, created at the end of 2021.

Today, the EIB is announcing its entry into the capital of FEFISOL II for an amount of 5 million euros! This renewed commitment will enable the Fund to pursue and deepen its social mission.

FEFISOL 1 has had a considerable impact over the past decade:

– 86M euros disbursed, of which 93% in Sub-Saharan Africa ;

– 75% of average outstandings in local currency ;

– 92 customers financed in 25 countries;

– 139 technical support projects carried out for 51 customers.

FEFISOL II builds on FEFISOL I’s pioneering support for rural microfinance and the agricultural sector. The challenge posed by the lack of financing for rural areas in Africa, and for farmers in particular, remains crucial.

In Africa, less than 5% of loans disbursed by traditional financial institutions are earmarked for the agricultural sector, and less than 10% of farmers have access to credit. And this despite the fact that around 48% of the population depends on agriculture. Although it makes a major contribution to many African economies, the agricultural sector is still poorly served financially, as it is often perceived as too risky or not profitable enough.

Rural communities face multiple challenges: the remoteness of financing, but also the growing risks induced by climate change, as well as the financial inclusion of women, who represent 60% of the agricultural workforce in Africa without often being able to benefit from the same rights as men.

FEFISOL II is structured to provide financial and technical support for solutions designed locally to meet these challenges. FEFISOL II will be implemented in over 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and is expected to support 130 microfinance institutions or agricultural companies and cooperatives sourcing from smallholders and certified fair trade or organic.

Other investors are joining FEFISOL II for a round of financing that will close at the end of March: the first investments will be effective from May!

 

 

Focus on technical support for rural African players

Created in 2011 by SIDI and its partners, the Fefisol fund offers a technical assistance (TA) facility to African rural players, in addition to its financial support. After conducting nearly 140 TA projects on the continent, SIDI and Alterfin are due to launch a second fund in 2022, with the ambition of further deepening its social and environmental approach to the companies financed.

Financing and TA, fertile ground for the growth of agricultural entities in Africa

By Gabrielle Orliange, Head of Social and Environmental Performance SIDI/Fefisol (published in Secteur privé & développement #36, La revue de Proparco, 4th quarter 2021)

In Africa, microfinance and the rural sector are of little interest to the traditional banking system. However, technical support (TS) for agricultural entities, combined with appropriate financial services, play an essential role in the continent’s sustainable development. This is why the Fefisol fund (Fonds européen de financement solidaire pour l’AFrique), in addition to its financial support, offers a technical assistance facility to rural players. In this context, it provides its customers with specialized service providers who help them to strengthen their viability and improve their productivity, while preserving the living conditions of small-scale agricultural producers.

Since its creation just ten years ago, Fefisol has financed 139 support projects for 51 customers in 22 African countries. Over two-thirds of beneficiaries are small microfinance institutions (MFIs) undergoing consolidation[1] or agricultural entities. A quarter of the technical support projects supported by the fund relate to financial issues, in particular accounting monitoring and strengthening internal control.

The technical support program reinforces the impact of financial support. At the beneficiary level, the two levers of action are complementary: Fefisol loans enable companies to grow their business, while technical expertise helps them secure this growth by improving their efficiency. In terms of fund management, technical support in return enables investment managers to improve their understanding of how investee companies operate, thus guaranteeing greater operational efficiency.

Fefisol’s TA offer stands out above the rest by providing a tailor-made response to customer needs. The customer is heavily involved in the entire process, including the selection of the service provider. This sense of ownership is also reinforced by the direct financial contribution that each customer must make to the project[2].

INVOLVE THE CUSTOMER IN ALL PHASES OF THE PROCESS

Over the decade, the needs of Fefisol’s customers have changed considerably. For almost two years now, due to the economic crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, requests to the fund have mainly been for equipment coverage not provided for in their annual budgets. For their part, MFIs have asked for support in managing liquidity in a crisis context. Fefisol has responded to this need by organizing, with partners, an online training course on this topic.

The independent evaluation of the facility in 2019 will assess the impact of technical support on beneficiaries. Many TA missions respond to opportunities and needs for fundamental change within beneficiary institutions. In many cases, TA projects have helped to kick-start an in-depth transformation process. By enabling customers to test innovations more quickly and easily, they help speed up the implementation of optimal solutions.

Several lessons can be drawn from these ten years of activity. The main one remains the need for the customer to take ownership of the technical support project. As such, his involvement in the process is crucial, from defining his needs for a customized solution to managing the consultant. It is also important to maintain a certain degree of agility throughout the implementation of TA projects, to ensure an effective response.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF PROJECT IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Downstream, the major challenge of this type of scheme remains that of evaluating the impact of TA programs on beneficiaries. Thanks to the possibility of granting successive financing and to its processes for monitoring the performance of its customers, Fefisol nevertheless has powerful tools for characterizing and documenting this impact over time.

To support this ramp-up, a Fefisol 2 fund will be launched in March 2022. Following on from Fefisol 1, it will continue to offer financial and technical services to rural MFIs and agricultural entities, with the ambition of deepening its social and environmental approach to projects. As such, the AT facility will have a compartment dedicated to improving sustainable agricultural practices and financing agriculture, while retaining its “tailor-made” approach so as to meet all its customers’ needs.

[1 ] Tier 3 MFIs, with total assets of less than USD 5 million.

[2 ] This mandatory contribution – at least 15% of each mission – explains the relatively low average value of TA projects.

 

Focus on technical support for rural African players

Created in 2011 by SIDI and its partners, the Fefisol fund offers a technical assistance (TA) facility to African rural players, in addition to its financial support. After conducting nearly 140 TA projects on the continent, SIDI and Alterfin are due to launch a second fund in 2022, with the ambition of further deepening its social and environmental approach to the companies financed.

Financing and TA, fertile ground for the growth of agricultural entities in Africa

By Gabrielle Orliange, Head of Social and Environmental Performance SIDI/Fefisol (published in Secteur privé & développement #36, La revue de Proparco, 4th quarter 2021)

In Africa, microfinance and the rural sector are of little interest to the traditional banking system. However, technical support (TS) for agricultural entities, combined with appropriate financial services, play an essential role in the continent’s sustainable development. This is why the Fefisol fund (Fonds européen de financement solidaire pour l’AFrique), in addition to its financial support, offers a technical assistance facility to rural players. In this context, it provides its customers with specialized service providers who help them to strengthen their viability and improve their productivity, while preserving the living conditions of small-scale agricultural producers.

Since its creation just ten years ago, Fefisol has financed 139 support projects for 51 customers in 22 African countries. Over two-thirds of beneficiaries are small microfinance institutions (MFIs) undergoing consolidation[1] or agricultural entities. A quarter of the technical support projects supported by the fund relate to financial issues, in particular accounting monitoring and strengthening internal control.

The technical support program reinforces the impact of financial support. At the beneficiary level, the two levers of action are complementary: Fefisol loans enable companies to grow their business, while technical expertise helps them secure this growth by improving their efficiency. In terms of fund management, technical support in return enables investment managers to improve their understanding of how investee companies operate, thus guaranteeing greater operational efficiency.

Fefisol’s TA offer stands out above the rest by providing a tailor-made response to customer needs. The customer is heavily involved in the entire process, including the selection of the service provider. This sense of ownership is also reinforced by the direct financial contribution that each customer must make to the project[2].

INVOLVE THE CUSTOMER IN ALL PHASES OF THE PROCESS

Over the decade, the needs of Fefisol’s customers have changed considerably. For almost two years now, due to the economic crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, requests to the fund have mainly been for equipment coverage not provided for in their annual budgets. For their part, MFIs have asked for support in managing liquidity in a crisis context. Fefisol has responded to this need by organizing, with partners, an online training course on this topic.

The independent evaluation of the facility in 2019 will assess the impact of technical support on beneficiaries. Many TA missions respond to opportunities and needs for fundamental change within beneficiary institutions. In many cases, TA projects have helped to kick-start an in-depth transformation process. By enabling customers to test innovations more quickly and easily, they help speed up the implementation of optimal solutions.

Several lessons can be drawn from these ten years of activity. The main one remains the need for the customer to take ownership of the technical support project. As such, his involvement in the process is crucial, from defining his needs for a customized solution to managing the consultant. It is also important to maintain a certain degree of agility throughout the implementation of TA projects, to ensure an effective response.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF PROJECT IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Downstream, the major challenge of this type of scheme remains that of evaluating the impact of TA programs on beneficiaries. Thanks to the possibility of granting successive financing and to its processes for monitoring the performance of its customers, Fefisol nevertheless has powerful tools for characterizing and documenting this impact over time.

To support this ramp-up, a Fefisol 2 fund will be launched in March 2022. Following on from Fefisol 1, it will continue to offer financial and technical services to rural MFIs and agricultural entities, with the ambition of deepening its social and environmental approach to projects. As such, the AT facility will have a compartment dedicated to improving sustainable agricultural practices and financing agriculture, while retaining its “tailor-made” approach so as to meet all its customers’ needs.

[1 ] Tier 3 MFIs, with total assets of less than USD 5 million.

[2 ] This mandatory contribution – at least 15% of each mission – explains the relatively low average value of TA projects.

 

Successful 5th African Microfinance Week in Kigali

[chapeau]The 5th edition of African Microfinance Week brought together nearly 600 inclusive finance professionals from 55 countries in Kigali, Rwanda. A tremendous success![/chapeau]

African Microfinance Week (AMW) is the largest conference on inclusive finance in Africa. Organized every two years in a different African country, it features conferences, training and workshops, an innovators’ village, and of course the investor fair in which the SIDI team plays an active part. A networking event dedicated exclusively to investors and African MFIs, the investor fair enables SIDI to forge future partnerships.

The SAM is an essential event for exchanging and sharing expertise on inclusive finance. The theme chosen for this year’s event was resilience: ” You’re not born resilient, you become resilient: strengthening inclusive finance to better overcome crises “. This was the first time the SAM had been held in Rwanda. This choice has enabled us to shine the spotlight on a country that has shown tremendous resilience and a phenomenal ability to adapt.

As always, the SIDI team was on hand. The emotion of being back in the flesh, and seeing the success of our participation, was palpable.

Why so many people? The impact of microfinance has always been the subject of debate. It’s a fact that microfinance is resilient, that it continues to provide concrete solutions and that, thanks to the leverage it generates, it enables individuals to define their own destiny.

At this 5th edition, everyone was able to gauge the vitality of African MFIs. In the face of the health crisis, MFIs ultimately managed to cope with the liquidity problems they faced. This shows the considerable work carried out by MFIs over the past 20 years, making them already resilient. The current crises – whether the health crisis linked to Covid19, the ensuing economic crisis, the issue of access to employment for young people, or the crucial challenge of adapting to climate change – must also be an opportunity to change practices, innovate, and advance the solutions that enable this adaptation. From the investor’s point of view, crises can have the beneficial effect of encouraging us to get closer and more involved together.

SIDI continues to forge ahead, placing solidarity at the heart of the economy and finance. Invest in small MFIs, establish long-term partnerships, share the partners’ vision and risk, so that these partnerships serve to consolidate the structures. Supporting the MAIN network in its capacity building program for its members – over 125 African MFIs! Defend the importance of technical assistance and support in response to the needs expressed by partners, to serve an inclusive economy in a process of ecological and social transition.


Some pictures of the event:

(c)GODONG // (c)SIDI

The 2020 activity report is available online

Couv_RA2020_FR(final)

A pioneer in solidarity investment in the South and East, SIDI publishes its annual report

SIDI offers its partners tailor-made financing and support, and thus works towards a form of finance that generates greater social and environmental impact, transparency and solidarity. A look back at the highlights of 2020 and our activities in favor of the ecological and social transition.