EDFI ElectriFI backs microfinance institution Fin’ELLE with a EUR 1.5 million investment to boost renewable energy, energy access and energy efficiency in Côte d’Ivoire
EDFI ElectriFI, the EU-funded Electrification Financing Initiative, contracted a EUR 1.5 million subordinated debt with Fin’ELLE, La Finance pour ELLE. The microfinance institution specialised in financing female entrepreneurs and MSMEs in Côte d’Ivoire is a subsidiary of COFINA and committed to ensure financial services are available, accessible and affordable for all.
The loan provided by EDFI ElectriFI is combined with technical assistance, including capacity building and other forms of non-financial support co-financed by Fin’ELLE and the EDFI ElectriFI Côte d’Ivoire Country Window.
“The solution provided by EDFI ElectriFI to Fin’ELLE consists in both financing and technical assistance. Concretely, we will work with Fin’ELLE and a technical assistance provider to develop from scratch a green strategy that will include the design of a new lending product specifically for the attention of Ivorian entrepreneurs active in sectors such as renewable energy, energy access or energy efficiency,” explained Lionel Dieu, ElectriFI Senior Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company.
While more than 70% of women in Africa are either excluded from the financial institutions or unable to benefit from financial services, Fin’ELLE aims to increase the proportion of its women borrowers and to increase the volume of loans provided to women. To date, Fin’ELLE has been supporting more than 5,000 female clients, offering them specifically designed products, including (i) benefits in terms of pricing, (ii) dedicated insurance products, and (iii) dedicated training programmes.
As a result, Fin’ELLE qualifies as a showcase of gender excellence complying with all the 2X Challenge criteria. Women empowerment principles are also applied internally as the company includes a majority of women in its workforce as well as in its leadership.
“We decided to establish this partnership with a real commitment. We are pleased to work with EDFI ElectriFI in order to develop green offerings with this high-quality of technical support. Supporting women’s entrepreneurship through inclusive finance is the heart of Fin’ELLE’s activities. This partnership allows us to implement our shared vision of developing women’s empowerment” said Ms. Marema BAO, Chairman of the Board of Fin’ELLE.
This investment falls within the funding of the ElectriFI Country Window for Côte d’Ivoire. In that context, EDFI ElectriFI is collaborating with the government and the EU Delegation in Côte d’Ivoire to accelerate renewable energy access in the country.
“This programme ticks many boxes as it supports women entrepreneurship and energy, both key issues for the European Union and its Member States. It is in a “Team Europe” spirit that the European Union through its ElectriFI initiative and The Netherlands through their development bank FMO, also financing this initiative”, confirms Jobst von Kirchman, EU ambassador in Côte d’Ivoire.
Founded in 2018, Fin’ELLE is a microfinance institution dedicated to women entrepreneurship’s empowerment. With a wide range of savings, credit products, and training sessions, Fin’ELLE is committed to the promotion of a pan-African model of inclusive finance for women. Fin’ ELLE has more than 10,000 clients and is ranked 9th in the ranking of microfinance institutions in Côte d’Ivoire. Fin’ELLE is a subsidiary of the Groupe Cofina, the African leader in mesofinance.
About EDFI ElectriFI
EDFI ElectriFI is an EU-funded impact investment facility, financing early-stage private companies and projects, focusing on new/improved electricity connections as well as on generation capacity from sustainable energy sources in emerging markets.
EDFI ElectriFI, is managed by the EDFI Management Company, a company established by the 15 European Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).
- Mathilde Poncelet – EDFI ElectriFI
- Ida RAIMI – Head of Communication Fin’ELLE