Africa: New Microfinance Group Launches

Feb 2020
Global, February, 27 2020 - The impact investment fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) and ACEP-International have joined forces to create ACEP Group, a new microfinance group with a goal of empowering African entrepreneurs.

Jean-Michel Severino, President of Investisseurs & Partenaires and chairman of the board of ACEP Group, said: “The creation of ACEP Group is the culmination of a long period of work and a partnership built up over more than 15 years between the ACEP institutions and the I&P group. By bringing along our different contributions at the level of ACEP Group, we wish to strengthen the governance of these companies, and provide them with the means of more actions and investment at a time when they are confronted with a profound change to the strategic and technological environment.”

With a capital of €11.9m, ACEP Group has become the majority shareholder in ACEP Burkina Faso (IMF created in 2009), ACEP Niger (created in 2012) and ACEP Madagascar (created in 2009).

Via these three institutions and ACEP Cameroon, which is aiming to join it, ACEP Group manages a loan portfolio of €110m, offers financing solutions to 140,000 entrepreneurs along with their teams consisting of 1,300 employees.

The creation of ACEP Group addresses multiple objectives: to develop a majority shareholder and a service for shareholder stability in each of these institutions; to ensure dynamic growth within ACEP institutions by providing support to their management via its subsidiary ACEP-Conseil, by promoting innovation, providing access to refinancing, restructuring their organisation and strengthening their risk management; to enable group institutions to jointly implement complex projects, notably facilitating their digital transformation; and to preserve, in a common social responsibility policy, the strong values promoted by ACEP Institutions.

The group intends to expand into new countries over the coming years, either by creating new institutions or by integrating existing companies aligned with group strategy.

As part of creating the group, ACEP is adopting a new visual identity designed around strong ACEP branding to reaffirm its core purpose, reflecting its client-centric strategy and marking the start of a new era.

The slogan below the logo reads “Success at your fingertips”, clearly indicating ACEP Groups choice to have a resolute social responsibility policy focused on customer service and impact research.

At a time when microfinance is becoming increasingly financialized, when over-indebtedness of customers is a threat, the creation of this group is based on the fundamentals of ACEP, namely the importance of the human element and a perfect knowledge, face-to-face and in situ, of each customer and his company which form the basis of our approach to responsible finance.

Thierry Perreau, President of ACEP-International and Managing Director of ACEP Group, said: “The new ACEP group is being built on solid foundations, while continuing a wonderful human adventure launched more than 15 years ago by ACEP-International, and with the trust of numerous technical and financial partners.”

“This ACEP Group project that is taking shape reflects the growing awareness of a world that is changing, faced with a profusion of new disruptive economic models, it was more than necessary to go further, to pool strengths and talents from our network and to define a shared strategy together to better grasp the many opportunities offered by the rapid change in the current situation. ACEP Group has firmly decided to focus its strategy on its clients, small entrepreneurs and their families, with an innovative and flexible approach blending together the warmth of local relationships and the best technological innovations.”

“Our ambition and responsibility are to consolidate with these entrepreneurs a lasting relationship based on useful, diversified and innovative services, and to contribute to the success of their ventures and their families.”

Carole Maman, BIO CIO, added: “We are proud to contribute, alongside ACEP- International and I&P, towards the creation of the ACEP Group, an entrepreneurial group centred on African SME financing requirements and looking towards the future. With the constitution of ACEP Group, the ACEP enterprises in Burkina Faso, Niger, Madagascar and Cameroon will benefit from institutional, commercial, managerial and financial support and innovation skills that are key to their future development and to provide financing solutions to local entrepreneurs.”


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