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IFC invests in Advans Côte d’Ivoire to Expand Access to Finance for Small-Scale Businesses

Johannesburg, South Africa, September 4, 2014 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced an investment in Advans Côte d’Ivoire to increase access to financial services for micro-, small and medium companies.
The $4.3 million loan, equivalent to CFA 2.0 billion, will help finance the growth and expansion of Advans Côte d’Ivoire, which was established in 2012, and offers credit and deposit services to the small-scale business sector. Small companies are critical to job creation and economic growth in fragile and conflict-affected countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, but often considered too risky and costly to serve by financial institutions. Only one in 10 of small firms in Côte d’Ivoire has access to a line of credit, according to World Bank data.
Grégoire Danel-Fedou, CEO Advans Côte d’Ivoire, said, “Advans Côte d’Ivoire will increase its contribution to the recovery and development of the Ivorian economy by broadening access to quality financial services that micro, small and middle size enterprises need to grow and to create jobs.”
By providing the loan in West African francs, IFC is helping to limit the foreign currency risk to Advans Côte d’Ivoire. IFC has invested over $10 billion in more than 60 local currencies around the world to help clients manage risk more effectively and to assist in the development of local capital markets. IFC is a founding shareholder in Advans Cote d’Ivoire and holds a 13.3 percent equity stake.
IFC Country Manager for Côte d’Ivoire, Cassandra Colbert, said, “IFC is eager to extend our partnership with Advans Côte d’Ivoire, and in a way that will help it avoid foreign exchange risk. As one of few financial institutions targeting the small-scale business sector in Côte d’Ivoire, Advans plays an important role in promoting inclusive economic growth.”
Part of the funding is from the Global SME Finance Facility, IFC’s response to the G-20 call to reduce the $1 trillion financing gap for micro, small and medium-sized businesses in emerging economies. The facility has the UK government’s Department for International Development as its anchor donor and a particular focus on SMEs in fragile and conflict-affected situations and on women-owned SMEs.
About Advans Côte d’Ivoire
Advans Côte d’Ivoire is the 6 th subsidiary of the international microfinance group Advans S.A. SICAR. It opened its doors in March 2012 and now serves more than 20.000 Micro, Small and medium Enterprises, through its 5 branches, in Abidjan and Bouaké. To learn more:
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
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