More and more cooperatives, small businesses or agricultural cooperatives want to invest in solar equipment. The bottleneck is often financing. In Cȏte d’Ivoire, microfinance provider FIN’Elle partners with Germany’s Green People’s Energy (GBE) initiative. FIN’Elle specialises in women-led organisations and businesses.
“For farmers or small agribusinesses to invest in solar equipment, financial institutions like FIN’Elle are necessary for offering suitable financial products to potential buyers,” says Nathalie Weisman of GBE in Cȏte d’Ivoire. These types of offers are also important for companies that sell and provide solar equipment and related services.
Lack of financial products delays spread of solar energies
However, not many financial institutions offer special loans and financial products for purchasing renewable energies and solar equipment. This delays the spread of solar technologies and expanding rural energy supply.
Against this background, GBE in Cȏte d’Ivoire and FIN’Elle agreed to form a partnership. FIN’Elle’s strength lies in its portfolio of offering microfinance and meso-finance loans for women-led small and medium-sized enterprises. They offer primarily working capital, investments, inventory loans and consumer loans. The company also trains women.
Access to female entrepreneurs
Founded in 2018 , FIN’Elle now has more than 10,000 female clients and is a subsidiary of Groupe Cofina, one of Africa’s leaders in mesofinance. With its products, the group serves the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises the commercial banks do not serve because they consider them too small.
FIN’Elle and the German initiative share a target group and – like the Ivorian government – pursue identical goals. “Together we want to strengthen women and female entrepreneurship,” says Nathalie Weisman. Access to tailor-made financial products is an important key to this. The partnership also gives GBE in Cȏte d’Ivoire access to the increasingly important group of women entrepreneurs in the country.