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BNP Paribas launches its first microfinance loan in South Africa

  • 15.09.2017

On 30 August 2017, BNP Paribas South Africa granted its first loan to the Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF), a renowned microcredit institution. BNP Paribas South Africa worked closely with the Group’s CSR Microfinance division for more than six months to successfully complete this project.

Helping to reduce poverty by giving disadvantaged communities access to financial services

With the largest banking industry on the continent, South Africa remains one of the countries with the most uneven wealth distributions in the world:  10% of the population holds 90 to 95% of the country's wealth. SEF works on a daily basis to eradicate poverty in South Africa by enabling individuals excluded from the traditional banking system to finance their income-generating activities in the country’s poorest regions

Operational since 1992, the Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) is a non-profit microfinance institution that helps disadvantaged communities. With a presence in the country’s poorest provinces and based in Limpopo, where 2/3 of the population live in a precarious situation, SEF supports 135,000 people living below the poverty line.

 The institution is present in the rural regions of the east of the country, through a network of 74 branches. It follows a group lending methodology, and 99% of its customers are women living in villages with a maximum population of 400 people. 

Florah & Esther

A challenge for the Group

The granting of this loan represents a first step in the partnership with SEF, and illustrates BNP Paribas’ commitment to disadvantaged communities in South Africa. By increasing the number of beneficiaries of microloans distributed by the MFIs financed by BNP Paribas, it helps the Group meet its CSR objectives.

This funding takes the number of emerging countries in which BNP Paribas’ microfinance activity is deployed to 11: South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.

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