EFC Uganda

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Développement international Desjardins (DID) and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) have signed a strategic agreement aimed at helping develop small enterprises in Central and East Africa. The agreement is specifically designed for investment in the entrepreneur financial centers (EFC) set up in that region by DID. The EFCs are specialized financial institutions that provide small entrepreneurs with the financial products and services they need to develop business and fulfill their role in stimulating economic growth and job creation.

The agreement provides for a combination of investment and technical assistance for EFCs, with an initial investment going to an EFC established by DID in Uganda. This institution, which has just opened its doors for business, will meet a crying demand for financing of entrepreneurs in Uganda where up to now such financing has been lacking. The investment will allow the EFC to take a strong position in the large market available to it.

In order to ensure the success of the EFCs it establishes, DID introduces products and methodologies that have already demonstrated their effectiveness in numerous supported community finance institutions. These include lending methods, procedures to assist operations and management, technological solutions, training programs, auditing, supervision and control operations and procedures to organize governance. In addition, to ensure that the EFCs are deeply rooted in the community, DID has developed an EFC client and employee ownership program. A portion of the incentive remuneration offered to EFC clients and borrowers is used as leverage for purchasing shares in the institution.

By helping improve access to financial services tailored to micro-entrepreneurs, this strategic agreement is fully aligned with BIO’s mandate. The partnership will draw on its extensive experience investing in microfinance and other sectors and will benefit from its wide network of partners in Europe and Africa. BIO will also look to maintain a balance between financial return and social performance while keeping a special focus on client protection, as it does for all its projects.

Website : http://efcug.com/index-2.html

  • Investment amount (€):

    USD 500,000

  • Contract signature :

    2012

  • Development impacts :

    • 1 — providing access to knowledge and skills and facilitating access to financing for MSMEs
    • 2 — strengthening governance through training, coaching
    • 3 — improving economic situation of local communities
    • 4 — contributing to environmental protection

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