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EDFI ElectriFI Finances Ivory Coast-based Women Entrepreneurship in Clean Energy

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EU-funded impact investment facility, Electrification Financing Initiative (EDFI ElectriFI) is investing EUR 1.5 million as subordinated debt in Fin’ELLE, a subsidiary of the financial group Cofina. This financing facility will help remove barriers to women entrepreneurship in clean energy in Ivory Coast.

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Fin’ELLE is an Ivory Coast-based microfinance institution that aims to create added value for women’s entrepreneurship and participate in their financial and social freedom on a long-term basis. Ivorian women investing in the renewable energy sector have the opportunity to benefit from the support of this subsidiary of the Cofina Group. 

Lionel Dieu, ElectriFI Senior Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company, said, “The solution provided by EDFI ElectriFI to Fin’ELLE consists in both financing and technical assistance. Concretely, we will work with Fin’ELLE and a technical assistance provider to develop from scratch a green strategy that will include the design of a new lending product specifically for the attention of Ivorian entrepreneurs active in sectors such as renewable energy, energy access, or energy efficiency.” 

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To date, Fin’ELLE has been supporting 5,000 plus female clients in Africa, offering them specifically designed products, including benefits in terms of pricing, dedicated insurance products, and training programs. The company includes a majority of women in its workforce as well as in leadership positions and exhibits women empowerment

Marema BAO, the Chairman of the Board of Fin’ELLE, commented, “We decided to establish this partnership with a real commitment. We are pleased to work with EDFI ElectriFI in order to develop green offerings with this high-quality technical support. Supporting women’s entrepreneurship through inclusive finance is the heart of Fin’ELLE’s activities. This partnership allows us to implement our shared vision of developing women’s empowerment”.

The investment is a part of the funding of ElectriFI Country Window for Côte d’Ivoire. In that context, EDFI ElectriFI is collaborating with the Ivorian government and the EU Delegation in the country to boost renewable energy access in the country.

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In addition to financing women’s entrepreneurship in the renewable energy sector, Fin’ELLE also invests in other sectors important for women’s empowerment. Last week, the microfinance institution signed a EUR 5 million loan agreement with the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) to strengthen support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME)and women active in the cassava value chain in Côte d’Ivoire.

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