Groupe Cofina is a leading non-bank financial institution in francophone West and Central Africa. The company operates across eight countries and is dedicated to mesofinance, the ‘missing middle’ between microfinance and traditional banking. The Group’s subsidiary Fin’Elle is a microfinance business dedicated to female-run companies and individual customers in Ivory Coast. Fin’Elle offers services including more attractive loan rates and higher interest rates on savings accounts for female customers.
Investment and engagement: DPI invested into the Group in 2022 as part of the ADP III Fund, where we now have 48.3% of shares in the company. The screening process found that Cofina is eligible under the 2X Challenge, and DPI has been engaging with the company to improve gender equality within the workforce and increase the reach of its products to female entrepreneurs.
Increase in female workforce: In 2022, the company employed 618 women, representing 45% of the workforce. Across the group, 67 women work across middle and senior management positions, occupying 33% of C-suite positions and 38% of the Board.
Increase in financing for women: Women account for 43% of Cofina’s customer base. In 2022, microfinance loans were provided to 9,817 women, and specifically to 3,877 women-led SMEs. In the same year, Cofina formed a partnership with Africa Guarantee Funds to give credits with guarantee coverages of up to 75% to women-led enterprises.
Reducing barriers for women customers: Since 2018, Fin’Elle has been providing non-financial support to its female customers through capacity building and technical assistance programmes. For example, in 2022, the company partnered with UN Women to develop training seminars on simplified business plans, and support in opening cooperative and savings accounts for women in the agriculture sector. The programme reached 60 women-led cooperatives.
Fin’Elle also collaborated with the Foods’Co Foundation to open savings accounts, deliver entrepreneurial management training and provide start-up capital of 100,000 FCFA to women in Beoumi, Ivory Coast. Over 240 women benefited from these services in 2022.
SDG Targets and Indicators