News

  • New FPM SA fund to provide tailor made financing for MSMEs in the DRC

  • 26.09.2014
  • Kinshasa, 26 September 2014 – Today the first General Assembly and meeting of the Board of Directors of FPM SA (Fonds pour l’inclusion financière en République Démocratique Congo) takes place in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). FPM SA (FPM), a new Fund for Financial Inclusion will support financial institutions targeting small and medium enterprises in DRC. This new financial instrument will complement “FPM ASBL” which has been operating in the DRC since 2007 and focuses on providing Technical Assistance (TA) to Congolese Finance Institutions. More than 50 TA-projects have been carried out so far. FPM will benefit from capital contribution of the KfW, the German Development Bank, for about 13 Mio. USD, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) for 8 Mio. USD, the Dutch Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid (Cordaid) for 4 Mio. USD and the Belgian microfinance fund Incofin CVSO for 100k USD. The objective of the Fund is to provide over 5 years up to US$60 million medium-term credit lines to Congolese financial institutions. These credit lines will be used by the financial institutions to finance micro small and medium enterprises in DRC. Incofin Investment Management, a Belgian specialist investor in rural microfinance will act as the fund advisor for FPM SA, bringing on board its specific experience and knowledge of the financial services market for micro, small and medium enterprises in the DRC. Improving access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises Most Congolese micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) do not have access to financial services as financial institutions are still giving priority to corporate clients. As a result of this lack of access to financial services, most MSMEs develop slowly, stay in the informal sector and are very sensitive to economic and market changes. FPM aims at supporting the development of those financial institutions with a clear mandate and strategy towards small and medium enterprises. As such, FPM will target sustainable and well-governed financial institutions including microfinance institutions, cooperative savings organizations and commercial banks serving MSMEs. By supporting the development of an inclusive financial system in the DRC, FPM will play a role in poverty reduction, job creation and sustainable economic development.

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  • Seminar on Development through Investment

  • 10.09.2014
  • Challenges and opportunities for SME development in developing countries

    BIO and the Corporate Governance in DRC Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, are organising a seminar on SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) development in the developing world on Thursday the 23rd of October 2014 in Brussels. SMEs are crucial for economic growth and job creation. However, SME entrepreneurs in the developing world face important obstacles to starting and growing their businesses. This seminar focuses on the constraints to SME development and the role development finance institutions such as BIO and private investors can play in supporting SME development. Since 2010, the Corporate Governance in DRC Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation and since 2014 also funded by BIO, awards a biannual Prize for Corporate Governance to an entrepreneur in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The prize is aimed at promoting SME entrepreneurship and corporate governance in the DRC. This year’s Prize was awarded in Kinshasa in June 2014 to Philémon Kivuvu Musul, CEO of Calmaco Sprl. On this occasion, the winner will join several important stakeholders of SME development in developing countries to discuss challenges and opportunities SMEs face today. Find out more about the program on sme-development.be

  • BIO subsidises a combined heat and power plant feasibility study in Nicaragua

  • 22.05.2014
  • In March 2014, BIO signed a feasibility study agreement with Exportadora Atlantic in Nicaragua. This coffee producing, processing and trading company works directly with local coffee producers and roasters, supporting them with advice, training and group ex-changes of experience and know-how in order to achieve the highest quality standards. The company also assists producers in getting the Rainforest Alliance certification for sustainable agriculture. Exportadora Atlantic is currently evaluating the installation of a combined heat and power plant using agricultural waste (coffee husks) of their plant in Sébaco. This projects scores particularly high on development impacts, as it will contribute to Nicaragua’s energy independence, reduce carbon emissions, create employment and increase the value chain. In the mid-term, the model could be copied on other plants. BIO finances 50% of the cost of the feasibility study that is carried out by a local consulting company, specialised in clean energy production and solutions in Central America. Read more on Exportadora Atlantic.

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  • BIO invests in the Indian MFI Annapurna

  • 24.03.2014
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    On March 21st 2014, BIO signed an equity investment agreement with Annapurna Microfinance Private Limited (AMPL), an MFI working with women entrepreneurs in 2 of the poorest states in India. AMPL saw the light as a microfinance initiative of a local NGO, People’s Forum, in the early nineties to provide microloans to women in mainly rural areas. Access to finance in rural areas in India is very limited and AMPL focusses on areas that are difficult to reach and are largely overseen by the commercial financial services.

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  • BIO’s first investment in Paraguay

  • 21.03.2014
  • In March 2014, BIO signed a senior loan agreement for USD 4 million with the Paraguayan bank Banco para la Produccion y Comercializacion (Bancop). The bank was incorporated in January 2012 and is the first cooperatively owned bank in Paraguay. The shareholders of Bancop are in fact the most important productive cooperatives in the country dedicated mainly to agricultural and livestock activities. They joined efforts to create a new bank with the objective of providing local producers an alternative for having access to financial products and services. BIO is lending USD 4 million to Bancop to further grow its SME loan portfolio and increase its capacity to provide financing to rural smallholders. The loan will, among others, allow Bancop to provide increased funding to SMEs in rural and unbanked areas, which in turn will support the creation of employment and livelihood opportunities for a broader portion of the population.

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  • Law modifying the BIO law published

  • 21.02.2014
  • The law modifying the BIO law of 3 November 2001, voted in December 2013, was published in the “Moniteur belge” mid February 2014. The consolidated law with the integrated amendments can be downloaded here (French).

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