News

  • Story - Dominique Soulin

  • 16.04.2018
  • In 15 years, we will all have 3 meals a day

    In many ways, he’s an exceptional businessman. He started his business because his professors were on strike and he went back to school when his business was a big hit. ‘Because I felt I lacked knowledge.’ You can buy his products in the red sandy streets of Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin, but also in India and in the United States. His factory is clean and modern. On a wall hangs a certificate that confirms production, storage and distribution of the cashew nuts and almonds are according to strict international regulations. Meet Dominique Soulin, CEO of KAKE-5, Savalou, Benin.

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  • Story - Ignace Van Synghel

  • 13.03.2018
  • Side effects

    For me, the main difference between Development Finance Institutions and NGOs is the fact that, for DFIs, there’s always the for-profit element. A DFI’s client  wants to make money. This isn’t necessarily negative, however: objectively speaking, good business is good business, regardless of a few people profiting more than others. Good business is good for the local community.

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  • Visit to Senegal

  • 28.02.2018
  • The Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, together with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo and BIO CEO Luuk Zonneveld went on a three-day working visit to Senegal, amongst others in the framework of #shedecides. Included in the busy schedule was a visit to Ten Merina,  a Photovoltaic Plant which received a €16M loan from BIO.

  • Story - Alix Besa

  • 13.02.2018
  • You need to give before you can get

    My name is Alix Besa. I was born and raised in Lubumbashi and went to primary & secondary school and university here. After university I started working for a bank, but I changed jobs after three years and now I’m working here, at the reception of CMC. What I like about my job is the contact with the people. I’ve always been comfortable around people, and I try to deal with them personally, rather than professionally. When referring people to the doctor they need to see, if often find myself wanting to follow them to make sure they get to where they need to, to make sure everything is fine. That’s one of the reasons why, whereas my colleagues leave for lunch, I like to stay behind during my lunch break. When you come to the hospital between noon and 2PM, you need to go to the Emergencies ward. But if you arrive at the reception, and there’s no one to tell you this, it’s confusing!

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  • BIO Grievance Mechanism

  • 13.02.2018
  • BIO’s Grievance Mechanism is based on a contact form on BIO’s website which enables any legitimately questionable situations in a project to be reported to BIO, in a simple and efficient way. The grounds on which a complaint could be submitted encompass two main categories: environment and social adverse effects on the one hand, and governance and business integrity issues on the other hand. Admissibility criteria for complainants and eligibility criteria for grievances were defined to prevent any abusive use of the mechanism. The management of BIO’s Grievance Mechanism is assigned to BIO’s Internal Audit function, notably for the purpose of securing independence and impartiality. For further details, we invite you to consult our website.

  • Visit to Ghana

  • 09.02.2018
  • Mathilde, Queen of Belgium and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo went on a three-day working visit to Ghana, with the objective to bring attention to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with a specific focus on gender equality and female empowerment.

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  • BIO STORYletter

  • 19.01.2018
  • In our monthly STORYletter, we feature a Story of someone somehow linked to BIO - as a farmer, a small-scale businesswoman, a credit officer, a fund manager, an employee, a shareholder, or in yet another way. We share their Stories with you because they convey what BIO is trying to achieve as an impact investor.Subscribe now!

  • Story - Jérémie Lubiba

  • 19.01.2018
  • An accidental pharmacist.

    I actually became a pharmacist by accident.My father was a nurse, so I wanted to become a doctor. In those days, you could enrol for 2 studies at the same time, in case you didn’t get in in one; so I enrolled in Pharmacy as well. Medicine was too much in demand, so they put me in Pharmacy. After finishing school, I didn’t wait to get a job. Within two months, I was working for an American laboratory. Sadly, during the troubles in the 1990s, most international companies left. Ours stayed for a while, but as the sales kept going down, one day I found myself without a job.At the time, there was an agreement between Zaire and South Africa, allowing us to enter without a visa. A lot of my friends had already left, and my wife and I were thinking of doing the same thing – I already had a few jobs lined up. But as good Christians, first we wanted to pray to God for guidance. So we prayed and fasted for three days. Two days later, God spoke through me. He said: stay in this country; and build a pharmaceutical laboratory. And that’s – with only 5000 USD in my pockets – how Laboratoires B.I.S. was born!

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