The Trade Hub officially extended its Access to Finance Gender Strategy to Côte d’Ivoire through a series of events from November 28-December 4 in Abidjan. NSIA Banque worked with the Trade Hub’s finance and investment Specialist, Charles Adegnandjou, to select 30 women entrepreneurs whose small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a solid management structure, a reliable accounting system, and the ability to meet market requirements from production to delivery, in order to gather insights on the financial needs and identify capacity-building activities of these businesses.
Unlike in Burkina Faso and other West African countries, agribusinesses in Côte d’Ivoire lack substantial government support to make their businesses sustainable and competitive in regional and international markets. Banks are also reluctant to grant loans to smaller agribusiness producers, especially those in the informal sector. The Hub will therefore support NSIA with technical assistance as part of its Gender Access to Finance Strategy, which focuses on coaching women on proper bookkeeping and assessing their own financing needs, as well as financing to lower the risk of lending to these businesses. The program has already connected 19 entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso with funds to purchase equipment for the expansion of their businesses.
The Ivorian businesses will benefit from NSIA’s banking products designed specially to meet their financial needs.The bank’s officials said they will work internally to train staff on issuing loans to finance these entrepreneurs and set up a database of entrepreneurs for potential program expansion.
NSIA Banque will formalize its collaboration with the Hub through the signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and setting up a six-month activity work plan. The MOU will cover operational procedures, roles and responsibilities, and a training module agenda for women entrepreneurs and bank officials.