British International Investment

Compagnie Financiere Africaine Cote d'Ivoire SA

West AfricaFinancial services

Cofina was founded in Cote d’Ivoire in 2013 to provide financing for the sizeable population of SMEs too small to be serviced by banks and too large for microfinance providers (‘meso-finance’)

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We committed a loan of €14 million to COFINA Côte d’Ivoire, a specialist meso-finance lender, to support the growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and advance gender finance. At least 30 per cent of the proceeds will be directed towards women-owned or -led businesses. The facility will enable the disbursement of approximately 2,300 additional loans during the three-year tenor.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact

To improve economic opportunities for MSMEs, including underserved women entrepreneurs, through increased access to credit (SDG 5.5, 5.A 8.3, 8.5).

How?

How?

The facility will allow Cofina to address the capital deficiency in the MSME market. Cofina will grow its loan book and provide liquidity to MSMEs in this underserved market and support sectors such as trade, which is an economic pillar in the region. In addition, at least 30 per cent of the proceeds will be directed towards women-owned or -led businesses.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
MSME owners

Côte d’Ivoire (100 per cent)

Lending aligns with our MSME definition.

Employees
Suppliers and customers

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Our €14 million investment is expected to increase the loan book by at least that amount by the end of the one year deployment period. In addition, the number of active gender credit accounts is expected to be a minimum 35 per cent of the total.

  • Duration: The impact is expected to last beyond the tenor and the duration is expected to vary based on the use of loans (e.g. working capital vs. investment).

  • Depth: Expected to vary given the range of businesses supported (retail, agriculture value chain, manufacturing). Impact is expected to be deeper for new-to-credit MSMEs.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality

Financial additionality: Our contribution is primarily driven by our financial additionality, given the limited risk appetite from commercial sources to invest in MSME finance in West Africa. By providing local currency financing, we take foreign exchange risk and extend flexibility to Cofina Côte d’Ivoire and, ultimately, to the end borrowers.

Risk

Execution Risk

Relates to Cofina growing its loan book as per the business plan. Reporting will ensure that Cofina’s lending practices remain aligned with our ambition to grow the MSME and gender loan books.

Evidence Risk

The length of the impact pathways and the variety of the Cofina MSME population (by firm size, sector, age, entrepreneur owner, growth orientation, geography) makes it difficult to ex ante and ex post monitor specific impact outcomes at the firm and target population levels. However, Cofina’s ongoing digitization and operational improvement efforts are expected to help enhance data quality, which could be used to track impact.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

The E&S risk category is medium-high given the FI’s exposure to inherently medium to high-risk sectors. BII will support the FI to develop and implement an ESMS to appraise key E&S risks associated with new transactions and integrate E&S as part of portfolio risk management.

Environmental and social risk

Medium-High

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    First published

    When the investment was first published on the website database.

    :
    March 2024
    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D6029
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    West Africa
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Financial services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Debt
    Start date :
    December 2023
    Amount :
    $7.62m
    Currency of investment :
    EUR
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    Cote D'Ivoire
    2X Gender Finance

    Indicates whether the investment is ‘2X qualified’ using the 2X Challenge criteria. You can find out more here. It only applies to investments made from 2018 onwards, when the 2X Challenge was first launched.

    :
    Fully qualified

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