A unique partnership
Created in 2008 at the joint initiative of Crédit Agricole’s Directors and Professor Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation is a cross-business actor committed to contribute to the fight against poverty and inequalities by promoting financial inclusion and social impact entrepreneurship. Investor, lender, technical assistance coordinator and Fund advisor, the Foundation finances and supports microfinance institutions, enterprises and projects that promote inclusive finance and the development of rural economies around the world.
Initially endowed with €50 million by Crédit Agricole S.A., the Foundation supports today more than 80 organisations and operates some forty countries with more than 82 million euros in portfolio followed by the Foundation. The Foundation primarily targets microfinance institutions that serve women and rural populations. These institutions support more than 7 million beneficiaries, 87% of whom are women and 83% of whom live in rural areas.
Impact projects with the Group
The Foundation is a strong lever for the Crédit Agricole Group in the promotion of inclusive finance through several projects. The Foundation has set up cooperation schemes with the International Proximity Bank (BPI) in Romania, Egypt, India and Morocco, which allows Group entities to finance microfinance institutions in local currency with the guarantee from the Foundation that also deals with the monitoring process.
Another emblematic project is the FIR Fund (Inclusive Finance in Rural Areas). Launched in 2018 by the Foundation, CA Indosuez Wealth (Asset Management) and CACEIS Bank Luxembourg Branch, the FIR is Crédit Agricole's first microfinance fund. This fund offers the Regional Banks and Crédit Agricole entities the opportunity to invest in the financing of rural microfinance institutions in emerging countries that serve populations traditionally excluded from the banking sector.
Another important programme is Solidarity Bankers. Launched in June 2018 at the initiative of the Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA, Solidarity Bankers is a skills volunteering programme open to all Crédit Agricole Group employees in favour of microfinance institutions and social impact enterprises supported by the Foundation.