News

10/27/17

Advans International and its staff support the Emergency Fund of Première Urgence Internationale

Première Urgence Internationale

In July 2017, teams from the Advans Group came together to donate funds to the French NGO Première Urgence Internationale. Première Urgence Internationale helps civilians who are marginalised or excluded as a result of natural disasters, war or economic collapse. The NGO is present in several of Advans operating countries, in Africa (Nigeria and DRC) and in Asia (Myanmar). Staff from Advans International were concerned about the critical humanitarian situations in these countries and therefore wanted to support the emergency missions of Première Urgence Internationale, which are complementary to Advans mission to foster private sector-led economic and social development in its countries of operation. During the month of July, Advans collected 4,500 Euros in donations from its staff, and Advans International matched this amount, with a total of 9,000 Euros donated to the NGO. Following this, in mid-October, a breakfast meeting was organised with Première Urgence Internationale and Advans staff so that the NGO could present its missions and the different stages of intervention, the activities carried out and the results achieved.

Read more (in French) 


10/06/17

Advans holds its 2017 group seminar on the theme of innovation

Advans Group Seminar

What is innovation and how can Advans use it to improve our operations? This was the theme chosen for Advans 2017 Group Seminar, which took place in Chantilly, France and brought together 80 staff members from across affiliates. So as to put the theme of innovation at the heart of the seminar, workshops were based on collective creative thinking, idea sharing and discussion so that staff could think both imaginatively and practically about the future of Advans. The seminar included an inspiring introduction from CEO Steven Duchatelle on Advans and Innovation, a key note speech from David Kruijff from the Fintech company First Access and a workshop on leadership led by staff from Advans International, Advans Ghana and Advans Côte d’Ivoire. There was also a presentation and workshop on the new Advans brand to be launched in 2018 and a session where staff were asked to imagine ‘What will Advans be in 2030?’. Finally, staff were able to get to know each other better through team building activities at the Chateau de Chantilly and at the seminar itself.


09/26/17

Loan agreement : Advans CI receives a credit line of 2 billion FCFA from the BICICI

Advans CI BICICI

Advans CI signed a FCFA 2 billion loan agreement with the BICICI, subsidiary of the BNP Paribas group on 27 September 2017 at the bank’s headquarters at Abidjan Plateau. The loan aims to help Advans CI continue to finance micro-entrepreneurs with a view to having a lasting social impact on MSMEs and low income populations in Cote d’Ivoire.


09/22/17

Advans Sub Saharan African Board meetings take place in Abidjan

Advans CI Board meetings

From the 20 to the 22 of September 2017, Advans Côte d’Ivoire welcomed the management and the Board members of Advans Cameroun, Advans Ghana, Advans Banque Congo and Advans Nigeria at its headquarters in Abidjan. This was a first for the group, which is celebrating this year the five years of Advans Côte d’Ivoire and the ten years of Advans Cameroun, the first greenfield affiliate of the network. During the three days, board members from the different affiliates had the chance to meet management and staff from Advans Cote d’Ivoire, to visit the MFIs branches and to meet Advans partners in Abidjan during a cocktail on Wednesday 20 September at the hotel Azalai. Managers and administrators from affiliates had the chance to discuss and share experiences. Steven Duchatelle, CEO of the Advans Group, spoke of his satisfaction with the results of the Ivorian affiliate after just five years of operations. He also presented the main strategic areas for Advans’ development and the challenges facing the group in the years to come in its African markets. For his part, Gaël Briot, CEO of Advans CI encouraged his team to continue to promote and disseminate the values of the group so as to maintain the current momentum in the months and years to come, so as to continue to serve its clients in a responsible manner. 


09/29/17

Advans Cameroun celebrates its tenth anniversary

Ten years ago, the first Advans affiliate, Advans Cameroun, opened its doors in the town of Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon. Now the MFI serves 60,000 clients in Cameroun, with a wide range of products and services and a number of new innovative delivery channels. In 10 years of operation, Advans Cameroun has built a wide distribution network with 15 branches in the main cities and towns of Cameroun (Douala, Yaoundé, Bafoussam, Bamenda, Garoua, N’Gaoundéré, Maroua, Kumba). In the last year the network has further expanded thanks to the opening of low cost offices in the Littoral region and of 24 Advans Point agents in Douala (partner agents which enable the clientele to carry out deposit and withdrawal transactions on their Advans account), as part of its strategy to bring financial service to rural populations in remote and underserved regions.

 

Several activities were carried out to celebrate Advans Cameroun’s tenth anniversary and to thank its employes and its clients, this included: a clean-up exercise of the streets in the Dakar neighbourhood, near the market where Advans has a lot of clients, the sharing of a birthday cake with clients in all branches and finally the awarding of exceptional service medals to 12 staff members in the presence of the administrative authorities, the press and staff from the Douala city council.

See the video (in French)


09/15/17

Two new branches outside of Abidjan for Advans CI !

Advans Agence Microfinance

Advans Côte d’Ivoire opened two new branches in the cities of Daloa and Abengourou in September 2017 so as to extend Advans’ network to the Eastern and Centre West regions of the country. Daloa and Abengourou are both cities with dynamic populations and developing economic activities.In these two new branches, Advans will provide MSMEs in these regions with a wide range of accessible financial services including savings and current accounts, loans and mobile banking, as well as services like insurance and money transfers. In the next few months, Advans Côte d’Ivoire will continue its expansion with the opening of new branches in Abidjan and in the interior of the country, continuing to offer tailored and responsible services to clients with limited access to the traditional banking system.


07/01/17

Retirement of Advans Group CEO and founder Claude Falgon and handover of responsibilities

Moving forward, the group will continue to innovate and evolve to achieve the mission we established at the start: financial inclusion for MSMEs and other populations with ill-adapted, limited or no access to financial services in Africa and Asia.

 

Advans Group CEO and founder, Claude Falgon, officially retired from his role as CEO on 30 June 2017. Claude, who will remain on the Board of Directors of Advans SA and a number of its affiliates, will be replaced by current Deputy CEO, Steven Duchatelle.

At the end of June 2017, the transfer of responsibilities at the top management level of the Advans Group was completed, with the retirement of the Group CEO and founder, Claude Falgon, and the handover to Steven Duchatelle, current Deputy CEO, and Amanda Hannan who will continue as Deputy CEO. This handover will mark the end of the post-integration process of Advans International, the group’s manager and technical partner, following its buyout by Advans SA in June 2016. The Board will continue to accompany and support the new management team in this transition which aims to guarantee the long term development of the group.

Read the full press release


05/27/17

A loyalty and reward programme for clients

Advans Nigeria’s (La Fayette MFB ) loyalty and reward programme, launched In May 2017, is designed to improve the standard of customer service delivery so as to retain customers and differentiate itself on the market. During the customer service week clients from various lending cycles received branded gifts. Other benefits in the loyalty programme will include reduced interest rates according to the cycle, VIP client service and an Advans Ambassadors club.


05/18/17

Advans Ghana develops its Edufinance package

Advans Ghana School Treasury

Advans Ghana recently launched the School Treasury Loan, a short term loan product designed to finance treasury shortages, particularly salary expenses of teachers. This new product falls under the Edufinance package where Advans provides financing to private basic schools to enable the overall development of their educational resources. Clients who sign up for the School Treasury Loan facility also benefit from a lower annual interest rate.


Advans Ghana opens a new branch at Hohoe

Advans Ghana has opened a new branch at Hohoe which has increased the MFI’s number of points of sale to 17 within four regions. Advans Ghana now serves  over 43,000 clients.This branch is very strategic in that it is situated within a prime location and expected to serve clients within Hohoe, Kpando, Golokuati, Likpe, Jasikan, Kadjebi and its environs. The aim is to bring banking services to MSMEs and low income populations in these areas.

Mr Brieuc Cardon, the CEO of Advans Ghana said  “The opening of this new branch clearly demonstrates Advans Ghana’s continuing commitment as a partner in the economic and financial development of Ghanaians,” headded that operations would be expanded to Sunyani, Tamale, Somanya and Konongo by the close of the year.


Advans Cameroun opens a new office in Loum

Advans Cameroun continues to expand its network in Cameroon with the opening of an office in Loum in the Littoral region. The opening ceremony took place on 20 April 2017 in the presence of President of the Board of Directors of Advans Cameroun and Deputy CEO of the Advans Group, Steven Duchatelle, as well as several authorities including the district chief and some Advans clients. It was a memorable day for the Loum community as they witnessed the opening of an Advans point, a third party agent partner, enabling clients to carry out deposit and withdrawal transactions on their Advans account, as well as the Advans office proposing all the services available in a classic branch.

Yves, shopkeeper at Loum and a loyal Advans client, is very happy to see Advans expanding to his neighbourhood: “The opening of the office at Loum will allow me to reduce the cost of my transactions and I will be able to increase my savings thanks to the daily collection service.” With the opening of this second office, Advans Cameroun extends its geographical scope and can get closer to its furthest clients.


Advans Ghana opens a new branch at Madina

Advans Ghana Savings and Loans inaugurated its Madina branch on Friday 5 May 2017. Today, with 16 branches located in the seven regions of the country, Advans Ghana has a wide network to support the growth of Ghanaian MSMEs. Brieuc Cardon, CEO, explained, “the new branch forms part of Advans Ghana’s commitment to offer quality services to customers through state-of-the art facilities, with a spacious banking hall to ensure that transactions can be made quickly and easily”, he went on to say “This new branch opening shows our commitment to bringing accessible, convenient and tailored banking services closer to our customers.” In developing innovative ways to serve its clients Advans Ghana continues in its mission to foster economic and social development in the country through providing financial services in a sustainable and responsible manner.


Advans Côte d’Ivoire: More than FCFA 18 billion in loans disbursed to Ivorian SMEs so far in 2017!

Since the beginning of 2017, Advans Côte d’Ivoire has granted nearly FCFA 18.5 billion in loans to Small and Medium-Sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cote d’Ivoire. In January 2017 as part of “La finance s’engage” initiative which aims to bring together key players in the Ivorian finance sector to support SME financing, Advans Côte d’Ivoire announced its commitment to lending a total of FCFA 55 billion to SMEs in 2017.

During the third edition of Advans Côte d’Ivoire’s SME day which brings together Advans management, partners and more than 250 business leaders, Grégoire Danel-Fedou, CEO of Advans Côte d’Ivoire, confirmed that he was, “very optimistic that the objective set for 2017 would be exceeded.” He went on to say: “We have completed a third of the year, and have disbursed a third of the expected amount, this is an especially good performance seeing as the first few months of the year are traditionally quieter for Advans clients in terms of business activity.” Advans Côte d’Ivoire confirmed its commitment to continuing to facilitate the financial inclusion of SMEs, acting as a platform for SME development, in particular via the implementation of innovative and tailored financial solutions for SMEs.


Advans Myanmar welcomes its first clients!

The Advans Group is pleased to announce that Advans Myanmar, its ninth greenfield institution, has opened its first branch in the township of Amarapura and disbursed its first group loan. On Friday 7 April, Advans Myanmar’s first branch in Amarapura, 11km south of the city of Mandalay, opened its doors to the public. Jana Kadian, CEO of the MFI, says “I am very happy to say that we have disbursed our first group loan. This marks the beginning of Advans’ exciting new adventure in Myanmar, where we aim to serve clients who have insufficient access to formal banking services, with the ultimate aim of contributing to private-sector led economic and social progress in the country.”


Advans Cote d’Ivoire celebrates its 5th anniversary !

March 2012-March 2017: This year Advans Côte d'Ivoire is celebrating five years of supporting entrepreneurs in Côte d'Ivoire. In five years, Advans Côte d'Ivoire has financed more than 40,000 entrepreneurs and 30,000 cocoa farmers with around 200 million Euros of loans approved. Our Ivoirian affiliate has also opened more than 120,000 savings accounts and now has a savings portfolio of over 35 million Euros. With 540 staff and 11 points of sale, Advans Côte d'Ivoire is still growing strongly and will continue to serve MSMEs and other populations in Côte d'Ivoire who have ill-adapted, limited or no access to formal financial services in the years to come.


Advans Tunisie celebrates 2 years of operations!

On 13 March 2017, Advans Tunisie celebrated its second anniversary. Since the start of operations in March 2015, Advans Tunisie has opened six branches: three in Tunis, and one each in Sousse, Kairouan and Zaghouan. The MFI disbursed more than 5,000 loans for a total amount disbursed of over 11 million euros. In the years to come, the eighth greenfield institution of the group will continue its growth to provide Tunisian entrepreneurs who are often excluded from the traditional banking sector with tailored loan products to help them grow their activities.


Advans Cameroun participates in the 2017 PROMOTE event

Advans Cameroun participated in the sixth edition of the international PROMOTE salon for SMEs and partnerships which took place in Yaoundé from 11-19 February 2017. Advans Cameroun had a stand at the event, manned by five staff; and got noticed for its daily group prospection activities. The event was an opportunity to reaffirm Advans Cameroun’s position as a market leader in microfinance, but also gave the MFI a chance to promote its new deposit solutions, including the new Advans Smart Mobile service, and also its loan products tailored to SME needs. During the event, more than 160 prospective clients were signed up, with several accounts opened and some interesting partnership opportunities.


Advans Tunisie to launch a payment card with La Poste Tunisienne

On Friday 3 Feburary 2017, Advans Tunisie and La Poste Tunisienne signed a partnership to launch a co-branded payment card, otherwise known as «Mobitasdid». The new partnership aims to promote financial education and help accelerate financial inclusion through modernising the means of payment available for microloans. The new card will enable Advans Tunisie’s clients to receive their funds on an e-Dinar card, called “Mobitasdid’, and to make loan repayments via mobile through the Mobiposte platform.

Read more (in French)


Best wishes for 2017 from Advans!


Advans Myanmar receives its MFI licence

The Advans Group is pleased to announce that its tenth affiliate and ninth greenfield, Advans Myanmar, has received its temporary licence from the Microfinance Supervisory Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and will start operations in the next six months.

Advans Myanmar, incorporated in 2015, was founded by Advans SA, Norfund, the Norwegian development bank, and Amret. Advans SA is majority shareholder, holding 50% of the share capital, with Norfund holding 40% and Amret holding 10%. Advans tenth institution is unique in that it will have regional partnership with Amret, the largest MFI in the Advans Group and one of the leading MFIs in Cambodia. The Advans group will provide technical assistance to the new greenfield, with Amret acting as secondary technical partner.

Read the full press release


Advans Nigeria - La Fayette MFB opens its eighth branch in Saki

On 21 November 2016 Advans Nigeria - La Fayette MFB officially opened its eighth branch in the town of Saki in Oyo State. Saki, a town of almost 500,000 inhabitants, is an important hub for both local and cross-border trade. With this new branch, Advans Nigeria - La Fayette MFB continues its expansion into Oyo state, looking to serve clients in urban, semi-rural and rural areas who have ill adapted or limited access to formal banking services. 


Advans Ghana partners with Digital Education Group for 2016 School Summit

School Summit, an annual event organized by the Digital Education Group brings together various stakeholders in the education sector in Ghana such as school directors and owners, school heads, managers and administrators. This year’s programme under the theme “Transforming Your School and Career Through Best Practice” was held on 21-22 October at the British Council in Accra. It focused on topics such as gaining a competitive advantage through personal and educational branding, financing school projects and creating effective educational partnerships. Advans Ghana presented its Education Finance Initiative which shows its commitment to the development of the education sector in Ghana. The product is specially tailored to the needs of privately owned pre-schools, Primary and Junior High Schools to help them expand and improve their standards of teaching and learning.


Amret receives a grant from UNCDF to support women with digital finance

On 14 October 2016, Amret and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) signed a grant agreement, with representatives from the UN, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Amret present. Amret’s Family + product, which enables female urban factory workers to make free transfers to the accounts of their rural family members with the long term goal of building financial stability for families, is a winner of the UNCDF SHIFT Challenge Fund competition. The latter seeks to support innovations from private sector organizations in the ASEAN region focused on accelerating financial inclusion with a particular focus on women. The Family+ project meets the specific financial services needs of women factory workers and their rural family members. The total estimated cost of the project is $539,000, UNCDF SHIFT will provide $245,000 in grant funding and the rest will be funded by Amret. Amret’s initiative, with support from UNCDF, means that female micro-entrepreneurs, female employees and women from migrant backgrounds will be able to access financial services and eventually contribute to local community development. The project aims to benefit over 20,000 women in Cambodia by 2018.

Read more


Advans CI attends the third edition of the National Cocoa and Chocolate Days

Advans CI had a stand at the third edition of the National Cocoa and Chocolate Days held from 1-3 October in Abidjan. The event, opened by the prime minister, brings together players in the cocoa value chain from across the country: Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s first cocoa producer, with more than 40% of worldwide production. The theme of this year’s event was ’acting together to face the new challenges for the cocoa value chain.’ Since 2012, 150 cooperatives and more than 30,000 farmers have benefitted from Advans CI’s cocoa financing project and 10,000 of these farmers have registered accounts with the institution.


Advans Tunisie opens its fifth branch in Kairouan

On 15 September 2016, Advans Tunisie opened its fifth branch in Kairouan. The branch is the second outside of the capital of Tunis, after the opening of a branch at Sousse in April. The MFI will now be able to offer loans to entrepreneurs and traders in the city, with the aim of fostering sustainable economic and social development in the area.

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Advans Côte d'Ivoire extends its network to Korhogo

True to its mission to serve clients who are excluded from the traditional banking system, Advans Cote d’Ivoire sees bringing banking services to populations in the interior regions of Cote d’Ivoire as a priority. Following the opening of its first branch outside Abidjan in Bouaké in 2014, Advans Côte d’Ivoire recently opened its tenth branch and second outside of the economic capital in Korhogo, in the Pôrô region. Situated in the Soba area, the Advans Korhogo branch has been operational since 5 September 2016. The branch offers accessible and quality financial services tailored to the needs of  Micro entrepreneurs and SMEs based in the region, including mobile banking services enabling clients to check their balance and make remote deposits and withdrawals on their mobiles, and life insurance.

Read more (in French)


Advans Ghana launches its 'Accelerate your life' campaign

Advans Ghana recently launched the "Accelerate Your Life” campaign in partnership with CFAO Ghana to provide clients and prospective clients with the opportunity to own the Suzuki Alto car with a special loan facility from Advans Ghana at an affordable rate. The “Accelerate Your Life” campaign began on 7 September and will last for three months. The facility is open to both existing and new Advans Ghana clients and CFAO Ghana clients. Salaried account holders who have accounts with other financial institutions can benefit from the promotion by opening a current account with Advans Ghana and having their salary processed at the MFI. If eligible, existing customers who already have loans with Advans Ghana can also opt for top-ups on their existing loans to benefit from the scheme. With this new product, Advans Ghana shows its commitment to providing credit products which respond to clients’ professional and personal needs.

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Advans Côte d’Ivoire launches a truck loan for cocoa cooperatives.

Advans Côte d’Ivoire has been progressively developing the range of financial services (loans, savings accounts, other services) it offers to cocoa farmers since the launch of the cocoa project in 2012. The institution has already financed over 150 cooperatives and 30,000 producers through this scheme. In September 2016 the institution launched a new innovative service especially for cocoa cooperatives: the truck loan. The Advans truck loan is a loan with flexible conditions which gives cooperatives the chance to buy new vehicles for the collection of their produce, thanks to the support of key partners (truck manufacturers, insurance companies). This product enables cooperatives which lack the financial resources to buy vehicles to purchase new trucks with insurance at preferential rates. Cooperatives can thus reduce their expenses in terms of vehicle location and reinvest the left over funds in the cooperative. Advans CI chose ten cooperatives for the pilot, for a total disbursement of FCFA 222 million (ca. EUR 338k).

Read more (in french)


Advans Côte d’Ivoire reaches more than 7,000 cocoa farmers with its digital savings accounts

Over the past 2 years, Advans Côte d’Ivoire has been working with CGAP in order to develop a branchless banking solution giving cocoa famers access to an interest earning digital savings account in partnership with the Mobile Network Operator MTN. Farmers can choose the amount of their salary they wish to deposit on their savings account, with the rest of their salary being paid in cash. They can also make free transfers between their e-wallet and their savings account. 7,000 producers from 58 cooperatives have now signed up to the service, with 2,700 accounts active during the first cocoa harvest in April-May 2016.

Read the blog on the CGAP website
Watch the video


Advans Ghana Launches School Development Loan

Advans Ghana has launched its newest initiative, the School Development Loan facility which is designed to provide financing to private basic schools to perform infrastructural upgrades, including refurbishment of classroom blocks, improving library facilities and the restock of general school supplies. The facility was launched on the 12th and 14th of July in Accra and Kumasi respectively and was well attended by representatives of private basic schools in Accra and Kumasi. With the introduction of the School Development loan, Advans Ghana continues to demonstrate its commitment to contributing to social development by ensuring that pupils and students in Ghana enjoy the right to quality education in a pleasant learning environment.

Find out more


SMART Campaign award Client Protection Certification to Amret

On 17 June 2016 Amret was awarded the Client Protection Certification from the SMART campaign. The certificate confirms Amret’s dedication to treating its clients responsibly and protecting them from harm and its respect of the seven client protection principles, namely: appropriate product design and delivery, prevention of over indebtedness, transparency, responsible pricing, fair and respectful treatment of clients, privacy of client data and mechanisms for complaint resolution. Amret began the process of certification in 2014, initially carrying out a self-assessment and then working on the gaps identified with support from Microfinanza TA. It then applied for the certificate in December 2015, with M-CRIL (Micro-Credit Ratings International Ltd) carrying out the rating. Amret is very proud of this milestone achievement, and is the first institution of the Advans group to be SMART certified.

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We feel privileged to have received SMART Certification,’ Mr Chea Phalarin, Amret’s CEO declared; ‘With this achievement, Amret will keep on looking to improve its products and services so as to better serve our customers, continuing in our mission to create positive impact on clients’ living standards and contribute to Cambodian economic and social development. We strongly believe that initiatives like the SMART campaign help to render the microfinance industry more accountable and sustainable. We would like to thank the AFD, the Cambodian Microfinance Association, the Smart Campaign and other stakeholders and partners who have supported us in obtaining Client Protection Certification.’

A new organisation to support Advans in its future growth

Advans SA is pleased to announce the buyout of its manager and technical partner in a transaction designed to ensure the long-term, sustainable and responsible growth of the group. The company, formerly known as Horus Development Finance and renamed Advans International to reflect its position within the group, became a 100% owned subsidiary of Advans SA on 28 June 2016. All staff who work for the Advans group remain with Advans International while Horus’ consulting team continues to operate as Horus Development Finance under a separate legal structure. As a fully integrated affiliate of the Advans group, Advans International will continue in its role of overseeing and setting standards for the group, through providing guidance, resources and expertise.

Read the press release here


Advans Ghana opens its new Tafo Branch

The Advans Ghana Tafo branch opened in June 2016 in Kumasi brings Advans Ghana’s growing network in the Accra, Eastern, Volta and Ashanti regions to a total of 13 branches. In opening the new branch Advans Ghana continues in its efforts to bring accessible, convenient and tailored banking services closer to its customers. The Tafo branch, located in a prime area at the Mangoase Junction in Kumasi, boasts of a modern infrastructure with a bright and spacious banking hall to ensure clients have a pleasurable banking experience. 


Advans Cote d'Ivoire opens a new branch at Cocody-Vallons

Advans Cote d'Ivoire opened its new branch at Cocody-Vallons in Abidjan on Monday 20 June 2016. The branch is the seventh in Abidjan and the eighth in the network. With the new branch Advans hopes to contribute to the economic development of Cocody through offering local inhabitants and economic actors a wide range of accessible financial services. 

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Advans celebrates its heros!

 

Advans Cameroun, Advans Ghana and Advans Nigeria are currently launching a publicity campaign which puts clients at the centre ! The television, radio and billboard campaigns will be taking place over the next few months in all three countries, focusing on the heroic stories of three clients who have reached their goals with the help of Advans’. The multi channel, multi country campaign is a first for the Advans group and is an extension of a project with the communication agency FCB Africa, the initial consultancy part of the project was funded by Regmifa.

Watch the advert here


Signing of an agreement between Advans CI and Care International

Advans Côte d’Ivoire has committed to working alongside the NGO Care International to find adapted solutions for women from underprivileged areas in Abidjan and in rural regions. The agreement between Advans CI and Care International creates an official partnership between the two entities, and sets out the joint actions to be carried out so as to facilitate access to saving, financial education and credit for women. Today the project covers the Gbèkè and lagoon regions, with almost 500 women from 21 associations involved. The two companies aim to reach out to 16,000 women across the region in 2016.


Advans Cameroun supports cocoa producers

Advans Cameroun has disbursed a loan of FCFA 25 million (c. EUR 40,000) to Camagrob, a cocoa cooperative made up of around 1,500 cocoa producers based in the Centre region of Cameroun, served by Advans’ branch at Yaoundé Madagascar. The credit enabled the cooperative to obtain a cargo of inputs, for a total amount of FCFA 40 million (c. EUR 60,000). During its last campaign, Camagrob produced and sold 434 tonnes of cocoa in total.

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Advans Tunisie opens a new branch in Sousse

On 15 April 2016, Advans Tunisie opened its fourth branch in Sousse. The branch is the first outside of the capital of Tunis, where Advans Tunisie began operations in March 2015. The MFI will now be able to offer loans to entrepreneurs and traders in the city, with the aim of fostering sustainable economic and social development in the area.


Happy International Women's Day 2016!


Advans Côte d'Ivoire holds its second SME day

On Tuesday 1 March 2016, Advans Côte d’Ivoire organised its second SME Event, at the Abidjan Business Centre on the theme “Financing Small and Medium Entrepreneurs: Advans' SME range, a solution to all your needs”. On the agenda for the event, which was attended by 200 participants, was an address from the Ministry for National Entrepreneurship, the promotion of SMEs and Artisanal Production on the Pheonix programme (for the development of the sector and creation of SMEs) as well as a presentation from Advans CI on its different SME products. Business owners were also able to exchange with each other during the different workshops organised according to their sector of activity. The Minister for the promotion of SMEs and Artisanal Production congratulated Advans CI on its efforts to support entrepreneurship; since the launch of operations in 2012 Advans CI has financed more than 13,000 entrepreneurs for a total amount of FCFA 63 billion (EUR 96m). 

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Advans Cameroun supports schools and parents in Cameroun

Swiss Radio Television (RTS) made a documentary on microfinance and social investments in Cameroun, specifically focusing on Advans Cameroun’s project to finance private schools and parents by thanks to the help of its financial partner BlueOrchard. Watch the video below (German with English subtitles).


IFC helps Amret expand financing to clients in rural areas and the agricultural sector in Cambodia

On 17 February 2016, IFC announced that it would be providing a $50 million financing package to Amret so as to help the MFI increase it’s lending to small businesses particularly in the agricultural sector and rural areas. The syndicated loan is destined to help Amret support more than 400,000 microentrepreneurs over the next 4 years, providing a total of around $900 million in loans. Agribusinesses, which make up a third of SMEs in Cambodia, represent about half of all SME financing needs; in providing loans to this key segment Amret aims to continue to foster growth and create jobs in the country.

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Advans Nigeria opens its 6th and 7th Branches in Oyo State

Oyo and Ogmobosho branches

Advans Nigeria will now be able to offer easy access to credit and financial services to traders, entrepreneurs and individuals in Oyo town and Ogbomosho city, the second and third-largest cities in Oyo State with an estimated total population of 710,933 inhabitants. These are the greenfield’s sixth and seventh branches, and the first ones outside Ibadan, since it began operations in Oyo State in February 2013. The new branches commenced full production in January 2016 and will now be able to cater to a cross section of MSME and low income clients in the semi-urban cities.

Advans Nigeria plans to continue its network expansion and widen its range of products and services on offer to better meet the needs of its growing market. 


Advans Ghana extends its services to peri-urban and rural areas with its rural and ADC project

Advans Ghana signed an agreement with Rafip (Rural and Agricultural Finance Program) in 2015 for a grant (from IFAD – International Fund for Agricultural Development) to support its expansion strategy in peri-urban and rural areas. The overall goal of the project is to improve the livelihoods of the rural population in Ghana including small, medium and large farmers and rural micro entrepreneurs as well as to support agricultural value chain financing with a special focus on rural empowerment. The project aims to enhance access to sustainable financial services in rural areas through enhanced and cost-effective alternative delivery channels. Advans Ghana is investing in areas where it has the highest potential to change lives and strengthen families and communities, as it works towards achieving itsfive-year strategic goals.

Advans Ghana's first low-cost outlet at Suhum

Advans Ghana opened its latest lowcost point of sale as part of its alternative delivery channel project in Suhum in the Eastern region. The new POS will offer a range of services to clients including savings and current accounts, term deposits, loans, field cash collection, mobile banking services, and ATM services. Two CROs (one SME and one Micro), one customer service officer, one teller and one field teller run the point of sale under the supervision of the Koforidua branch manager. Suhum is the first of several new points of sale that Advans Ghana will be launching in 2016 so as to increase its geographical coverage and reach out to clients in rural and peri-urban areas.


Advans’ 10 Year Anniversary Event

Photos: Sébastien Delarque

On 4 December 2015, Advans held a celebratory event in Paris which brought together investors, partners and staff to commemorate its tenth anniversary. The event looked back over Advans achievements over the last ten years and discussed the challenges confronting the microfinance sector in the years to come.

Cyrille Arnould, the first Chairman of the Board, Matthias Adler, Chairman of the Board today and Claude Falgon, CEO of Horus launched the ceremony by sharing their experiences of the creation and development of Advans. This was followed by an insightful keynote speech from Doris Köhn on the issues the sector has faced over the years and key perspectives for the future. In the afternoon two panels, led by Advans Board Members Gail Buyske and Maria Largey looked at ‘The role of international microfinance groups such as Advans’ and ‘New horizons for MSME finance’. The first involved representatives from EIB, Symbiotics and Incofin with a presentation from Amret on the MFI’s relationship with the Advans group while the second, beginning with the presentation of Advans Côte d’Ivoire’s Cocoa project included representatives from CGAP, IFC, FMO and Horus. During the day Advans’ head of human resources Marie Krugler and Gaël Briot, CEO of Advans Tunisie also gave a presentation on capacity building in the group. The day concluded with a speech from Steven Duchatelle, Deputy CEO of Horus and Matthias Adler, Chairman of the Board on the outlook for Advans. The networking lunch and cocktail enabled participants to meet old and new contacts, catch up on ongoing projects and topics and discuss possible synergies for the future.

All in all the event created the opportunity for interesting and stimulating exchanges and set the stage for the next ten years of the Advans group. Advans would like to thank all guests and contributors for making the day a success.


Advans Côte d'Ivoire increases its capital to EUR 7.6m

In November 2015 Advans Côte d'Ivoire  completed a capital increase, bringing its capital from 3,750,000 FCFA (EUR 5.7m) to 5,000,000 FCFA (EUR 7.6m). All the MFI's existing shareholders, Advans SA, IFC, AFD, FMO and SGBCI subscribed in the transaction, with the shareholding structure remaining the same. The new capital will enable Advans Côte d'Ivoire to pursue its growth, the MFI plans to continue its network expansion and widen the range of products and services on offer so as to better serve its target clientele. 


Advans Tunisie opens its third branch in Tunis

Advans Tunisie opened its third branch in the Ariana region of Tunis on 4 November 2015. Thanks to the new branch Advans Tunisie will be able to offer easy access to credit to entrepreneurs and traders in the Ariana area as well as in the surrounding areas of Raoued, Borj Louzir, Cité El Khadra, L’Aouina and Soukra. With three branches having opened in Tunis since the start of operations in March, Advans Tunisie now has a wide coverage of the city of Tunis.


Advans Bank Tanzania welcomes new strategic shareholder

Advans SA hereby announces that Letshego Holdings Limited has become a majority shareholder in Advans Bank Tanzania by way of subscription to newly-issued shares. This transaction will enable Advans Bank Tanzania to comply with the new minimum regulatory core capital for banks in Tanzania, which was raised from five to fifteen billion tanzanian shillings by the Bank of Tanzania. Advans Bank Tanzania’s founding shareholders, Advans SA and FMO, will remain minority shareholders in the institution.

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Advans Côte d'Ivoire attends the National Cocoa and Chocolate Day

The National Cocoa and Chocolate days (JNCC 2015) took place from the 1-3 October in Yamoussoukro and were attended by the head of state of Côte d’Ivoire, cocoa cooperatives and producers, regulatory structures and international organisations working in the sector. In 2015 the annual event, organised by Côte d’Ivoire’s Cocoa and Coffee Counsel, was centred on the theme “A high performing and sustainable cocoa economy for an emerging Côte d’Ivoire in the run up to 2020”. Advans Côte d’Ivoire grasped this unique opportunity to launch its banking service which will enable producers and cooperatives to have secure payments and savings with easy access accounts available at their plantations.


Advans launches its 10 year celebrations with an internal seminar

Advans launched its 10 year anniversary celebrations in October 2015 with an internal Seminar in the Burgundy region of France. The seminar was attended by the Advans group team from Paris, as well as by the nine affiliates in the Advans network; Amret, Advans Cameroun, Advans Ghana, Advans Banque Congo, Advans Bank Tanzania, Advans Côte d'Ivoire, Advans Pakistan, Advans Nigeria and Advans Tunisie. Various themed workshops enabled affiliates to share their experience on key subjects contributing to the success and evolution of the group such as lending productivity, client centricity and staff development. Participants were thrilled to be able to come together to celebrate the achievements of Advans over the last ten years, meet old and new colleagues from other institutions across the network during the different team building activities and reflect together on the development of the Advans group for the years to come.


Advans Cameroun opens its 15th Branch in Yaoundé

Advans Cameroun opened its fifteenth branch and fourth in the city of Yaoundé in September 2015. The Yaoundé Biyem Assi branch covers an area in the midst of strong urban development which was too far away to be served by the existing Yaoundé Madagascar branch. The branch will also be able to cater for clients in nearby rural and agricultural zones.


Advans Tunisie launches micro insurance through a partnership with Assurances Maghrebia VIE

Advans Tunisie signed a partnership with Assurances Maghrebia VIE on 26 August 2015 so as to offer micro insurance products to its clients. Thanks to this partnership Advans Tunisie’s borrowers will be able to benefit from both credit insurance and life insurance. This new product aims to protect borrowers and families in case of unforeseen circumstances.

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Advans CI selected as a finalist for the "Giordano Dell'Amore Microfinance Best Practices International Award” (2015)

Thanks to its innovative project which aims to accelerate the financial inclusion of small cocoa farmers through offering them access to tailored credit and financial services, Advans CI has been chosen as a finalist for the International Award of the Italian Foundation Giordano Dell’Amore.


Advans Tunisie opens its second branch at Place de Barcelone

On Monday 29 June 2015, Advans Tunisie officially opened its second branch at Place de Barcelone in Tunis to the public. Ideally situated opposite the bus terminal, it will allow Advans Tunisie to cater for microentrepreneurs from the city centre, as well as the northern and southern suburbs.

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Advans CI opens its seventh branch

Advans CI opened its seventh branch at Koumassi St-Etienne in June 2015. The new branch is special in that it is shared with Advans CI's shareholder and partner SGCBI.


La Fayette MFB provides SME Capacity Building

La Fayette MFB has recently organised capacity building workshops for business owners in Ibadan to help them manage their businesses effectively. The initiative aims to help SMEs better manage their finances and improve their practices to ensure their future growth. Committed to facilitating the development of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria, La Fayette MFB hopes that providing SMEs with access to reliable financial products and business guidance will help more small businesses to achieve their short and long term goals.

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Cash vs. Digital: Advans Côte d'Ivoire's branchless banking project for cocoa producers backed by CGAP

Read CGAP's latest blog on Advans Côte d'Ivoire's branchless banking project for cocoa producers. The article discusses the benefits of digital payments for cocoa producers, the results of the first feasibility study carried out by Advans CI and the obstacles the institution needs to overcome in order to offer an adapted solution to clients.


Inauguration of Advans Tunisie’s first branch in the El Intilaka area of Tunis

Advans Tunisie’s first branch was officially inaugurated on 12 May 2015. The ceremony was attended by Ms Boutheina Ben Yaghlene, State Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Ms. Rita Adams, Swiss Ambassador to Tunisia, Mr Ahmed Karam, CEO of Amen Bank, Ms Amina Zeghal, Mr Claude Falgon, Director of Advans SA and CEO of Horus Development Finance and Mr Gaël Briot, CEO of Advans Tunisie. Since it opened in March, the institution has already disbursed over 120 credits for over 500,000 dinars (EUR 230,000).


Advans Pakistan takes part in the 'My Karachi' Exhibition

Advans Pakistan had the chance to promote its services on a stall at the 'My Karachi-Oasis of Harmony, Exhibition 2015' which took place on the 10-12 April 2015. The exhibition is organised annually by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 


Advans CI supports youth employment through the PEJEDEC programme

On 2 April 2015 Advans Côte d'Ivoire received a visit from the Ivoirian Minister for Employment, Social Affairs and Professional Training. The Minister congratulated Advans CI for having trained and recruited 25 PEJEDEC (Project supporting youth employment and skills development) trainees after their 6 month internship (funded by the Ivorian State). This exceptional 100% success rate shows Advans CI's commitment to combatting youth unemployment.

 

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Interview with Advans Tunisie's CEO

Gaël Briot, CEO of Advans Tunisie, presents Advans latest greenfield to Tuniscope (video in French).


Horus receives the 2015 VIE Business prize

Horus Development Finance was chosen to receive the 2015 VIE (International Volunteering) Business prize in the ‘Special Jury Award’ category. The awards ceremony took place on 9 March 2015 at the head office of the MEDEF organisation in Paris. Business France organised the event along with the MEDEF and several other partners. Steven Duchatelle, deputy CEO of Horus and Anne-Laure Putigny, Operations Officer, attended the ceremony. Anne-Laure, previously having undertaken a VIE placement at Advans Côte d’Ivoire, talked of her experience and how this helped her in her professional development. Muriel Pénicaud, CEO of Ubifrance and Pierre Gattaz, president of the MEDEF awarded the prizes.

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Advans Côte d'Ivoire opens its sixth branch at Adjamé Chateau d'Eau

Advans Cote d'Ivoire opened the sixth branch in its network and its fifth branch in Abidjan on 17 March 2015 at Adjamé Chateau d'Eau. The branch will help the institution to enhance its proximity to current customers and to reach out to new clients.


Advans Tunisie launches operations in Tunis

Advans is pleased to announce the launch of operations of its ninth microfinance institution (MFI): Advans Tunisie. The eighth greenfield of the group and the first Advans institution in the MENA region opened the doors of its first branch today in the El Intilaka area of Tunis.

Advans Tunisie was created in September 2013 by its sponsor and majority shareholder Advans SA, along with SANAD (an investment fund specialised in the MENA region backed by the EU, Germany and Switzerland), Amen Bank (a Tunisian bank) and INAAM (a holding company restricted to Tunisian socially oriented investors). The project has also been granted support from the Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF), an association for job creation and revenue generation.

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Advans becomes majority shareholder in Amret

Advans SA is pleased to announce that it is now majority shareholder in the Cambodian microfinance institution Amret. In the recent transaction, approved in early 2015 by the National Bank of Cambodia Advans SA purchased 8.4% of Amret’s shares to increase its share ownership from 44.4% to 52.8%. The operation marks an important milestone in Advans relationship with Amret; Advans new status as majority shareholder will allow it to work even more closely with the institution.


Advans Cameroun and IFC work together to expand access to financial services in Cameroon

On 2 February 2015 IFC, member of the World Bank Group, announced that it has signed an advisory services agreement with Advans Cameroun so as to accelerate financial inclusion in Cameroon by developing the range and scope of financial services available to urban and rural populations underserved by the traditional banking sector. Over the next four years IFC will provide advisory services worth $ 1.18 million to Advans Cameroun in order for the MFI to design, pilot and roll out a branchless banking model comprised of mini branches, mobile collectors and mobile agents.

The project is part of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint $ 37.4 million initiative by IFC and The MasterCard Foundation that aims to scale up commercial microfinance and develop mobile financial services to increase financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

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La Fayette MFB will receive a $ 2.5 million loan from IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced on 29 January that it will be providing a loan facility of 400 million Nigerian naira (ca. $ 2.5 million) to La Fayette Microfinance Bank (Advans Nigeria). The loan will help finance the expansion and development of the institution, so that it can reach out to more MSMEs in Nigeria. 

 


Advans Ghana rewards its deposit clients

Advans Ghana has rewarded 60 loyal clients as part of its “Deposit and Win Loyalty Promotions”, 5,000 clients participated in the competition, which aims to show the insitution's appreciation of its most loyal customers. Prizes included paid business development training for entrepreneurs, an educational scholarship and free medical insurance. 

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Advans Cameroun increases its capital by 34% to EUR 5.1 million

At the end of 2014 Advans Cameroun underwent a capital increase of FCFA 850 million (c. EUR 1.3 million), bringing its capital from FCFA 2.5 billion (c. EUR 3.8 million) to FCFA 3.35 billion FCFA (c. EUR 5.1 million) committed by its existing shareholders (Advans SA, SG Cameroun and IFC). This capital increase will strengthen Advans Cameroun’s ability to help accompany the growth of its clients businesses.


Season's Greetings 2015


Horus and Advans celebrate the 50,000th VIE volunteer

On 6 November 2014, Matthias Fekl, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Tourism and French citizens abroad as well as Michel Oldenberg, the director of the VIE (International Volunteering) programme at Ubifrance, Henri Baissas, Deputy CEO in charge of operations and other representatives met Anaïs Joseph, to celebrate her becoming the 50,000th volunteer in the VIE programme.

 

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Read the article on the French Embassy in Cote d'Ivoire's website here


Launch of the Advans Côte d'Ivoire and SGBCI co-branded withdrawal card

On Wednesday 8 October, Advans Côte d'Ivoire and the Société Générale de Banques en Côte d’Ivoire (SGBCI) signed a partnership agreement marking the launch of the Advans Liberté withdrawal card.


Advans SA completes its third round of fundraising

Advans SA SICAR is pleased to announce the completion of its third round of fundraising for an amount of EUR 20 million committed by its current shareholders.

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Advans Cameroun receives support from the AfDB for SME Lending

On 26 September 2014 the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced that it will be granting a credit line in FCFA for an equivalent of one million euros to Advans Cameroun in order to support the institution's SME lending activity and therefore encourage the development of the SME sector in Cameroun.

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Advans Côte d’Ivoire will receive a $ 4.3m loan from IFC

On 4 September 2014, IFC announced that it was granting Advans Côte d'Ivoire a $4.3m (FCFA 2.0 billion) loan in order to help finance the institution's growth and expansion.

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Half a million clients grow with the Advans group!

The Advans group now serves over 500 000 clients.

 

 

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