Financing to boost renewables, energy access and efficiency in Côte d’Ivoire

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EDFI ElectriFI has backed microfinance institution Fin’ELLE with a €1.5 million ($1.69 million) investment to boost renewable energy, energy access and energy efficiency in Côte d’Ivoire.

Fin’ELLE, the microfinance institution specialising in financing female entrepreneurs and MSMEs in Côte d’Ivoire, is a subsidiary of COFINA and is committed to ensuring financial services are available, accessible and affordable for all.

The loan provided by EDFI ElectriFI is combined with technical assistance, including capacity building and other forms of non-financial support co-financed by Fin’ELLE and the EDFI ElectriFI Côte d’Ivoire Country Window.

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“The solution provided by EDFI ElectriFI to Fin’ELLE consists in both financing and technical assistance. Concretely, we will work with Fin’ELLE and a technical assistance provider to develop from scratch a green strategy that will include the design of a new lending product specifically for the attention of Ivorian entrepreneurs active in sectors such as renewable energy, energy access or energy efficiency,” said Lionel Dieu, ElectriFI Senior Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company.

A shared vision of women empowerment in Côte d’Ivoire

While more than 70% of women in Africa are either excluded from financial institutions or unable to benefit from financial services, Fin’ELLE says that it aims to increase the proportion of its women borrowers and to increase the volume of loans provided to women. To date, Fin’ELLE has been supporting more than 5,000 female clients, offering them specifically designed products, including benefits in terms of pricing, dedicated insurance products and dedicated training programmes.

Women empowerment principles are also applied internally as the company includes a majority of women in its workforce as well as in its leadership.

“We decided to establish this partnership with a real commitment. We are pleased to work with EDFI ElectriFI in order to develop green offerings with this high-quality of technical support. Supporting women’s entrepreneurship through inclusive finance is the heart of Fin’ELLE’s activities. This partnership allows us to implement our shared vision of developing women’s empowerment,” said Marema Bao, Chairman of the Board of Fin’ELLE.

This investment falls within the funding of the ElectriFI Country Window for Côte d’Ivoire. In that context, EDFI ElectriFI is collaborating with the government and the EU Delegation in Côte d’Ivoire to accelerate renewable energy access in the country.

“This programme ticks many boxes as it supports women entrepreneurship and energy, both key issues for the European Union and its member states. It is in a ‘Team Europe’ spirit that the European Union through its ElectriFI initiative and The Netherlands through their development bank FMO, are also financing this initiative,” said Jobst von Kirchman, EU ambassador in Côte d’Ivoire.