The launch ceremony for GroFin’s 14th country office in Ivory Coast, was held on 6th April 2017, at Cocody, Abidjan. The ceremony was graced by chief guest Tuo Nangalourou Seydou, Directeur de l’ingénierie d’Entreprise, representing the Ministry of Commerce; Mrs NDAW, GroFin Ivory Coast first client and business owner of Ivoirienne de Communication et de Distribution (ICODI); and Ihno Baumfalk, Financial System Development Southern Africa, KfW, the German Development Bank.
The GroFin team was represented by Gwen Abiola-Oloke, Regional Director (West Africa), Guillaume Liby, Investment Executive, GroFin Ivory Coast and Sharmila Kowlessur, Chief Marketing Officer, GroFin Managers.
On the momentous occasion of GroFin’s 14th country office launch, Gwen Abiola-Oloke stated that GroFin’s financing model, successful track record and financing strategy are in line with the strategic direction of Ivory Coast which aspires to become an emerging economy.
Next, Guillaume Liby introduced GroFin’s Small and Growing Businesses Fund (SGB) to aspiring entrepreneurs.
“GroFin provides a unique solution to the problem of SME financing and is determined to play an important role in the growth of the SME sector in Ivory Coast,” said Guillaume Liby, going on to underline GroFin’s ambitions to achieve significant impact by serving Ivory Coast entrepreneurs.
He went on to explain that GroFin is not a bank but an impact investor whose mission is working with SMEs through a combination of finance and business support. GroFin finance comes in the form of medium- and long-term loans (three to eight years) ranging from 60 to 900,000,000 million CFA francs and repayments are structured according to the client’s cash flows.
“We actively engage with our clients by analysing their business results while directing our support to the company in areas where it is most needed,” he concluded.
The Ivory Coast office in Abidjan represents GroFin’s 14th country office in it’s 13-year history, establishing an unparalleled reach into the small business sector across Africa and the Middle East. Further, this new office also symbolises GroFin’s first port of entry into francophone West Africa.
The first client to be approved in Ivory Coast, ICODI is a company retailing telephone recharge cards and mobile money services over the last 15 years. Mrs. NDAW, the entrepreneur, approached GroFin to finance the opening of two additional outlets and increase the current working capital, and our investment is expected to help sustain 21 jobs and better position ICODI among its peers.
Mrs. NDAW’s presence at the launch event was testimony to the close customer connect that GroFin is already establishing with aspiring entrepreneurs in Ivory Coast.