Kiva is thrilled to welcome Advans Côte d'Ivoire as our newest field partner!
Known as Advans CI, the organization is the fifth microfinance institution established by Advans SA, a multi-national microfinance group already working in Cameroon, Ghana, Pakistan, Cambodia, and more places.
Advans CI, founded in March 2012, is on a mission to provide credit and savings products -- in addition to other financial services -- to micro, small and medium enterprises in Côte d'Ivoire. After just one year, it's served over 3,000 clients with more than $5 million in loans.
To more holistically support its clients' financial wellbeing, Advans CI offers savings accounts with attractive interest rates, as well as helpful tools like wire transfers, check cashing and the ability to get transaction info via SMS to clients who can access its branch offices. It plans to introduce even more services, like insurance and mobile banking, in the near future.
Kiva is working with one of Advans CI's programs in particular to extend credit to cocoa farmers in rural areas. To do so, the organization has partnered with the Cocoa Livelihoods Program (CLP) to finance crop-increasing agricultural inputs for smallholder farmers. The goal of the CLP is to increase farmer income while strengthening local service capacity. It's doing this by improving market efficiency, improving the production and quality of cocoa at the farm level, and making farmers more competitive by introducing diversified crops.
The CLP is backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and nearly 20 industry partners -- including chocolate manufacturers, cocoa processors, supply chain managers and more. The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Sustainable Trade Initiative are also playing supportive roles, and the World Cocoa Foundation -- among others -- have worked together to implement all the programming in Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria, in addition to Côte d'Ivoire.
TechnoServe is one of the implementing partners of the CLP and leads the input credit component of the program. A nonprofit organization that works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries, TechnoServe develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital and markets. Its work is rooted in the idea that hardworking people can generate income, jobs and wealth for their families and communities. With more than four decades of proven results, TechnoServe believes in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.
Since launching the CLP Input Credit Scheme in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in 2010, TechnoServe has linked over 6,000 farmers to over $1.25M in input financing. Over the three seasons financed, participating farmers in Côte d’Ivoire have maintained an impressive average repayment rate of 100%, even in the face of the civil conflict that rocked the nation in early 2011.
Interested in supporting cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire? Make a loan through Advans CI today!
Camille brings her passion for storytelling to Kiva, where she helps create and curate online content. A longtime journalist, she started her career reporting on arts and culture for the Wall Street Journal in London and New York. In 2008, she joined San Francisco-based blog VentureBeat, writing about green technology, policy and finance. Most recently, she worked in public relations for electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors. Outside of work, Camille volunteers as a web designer for maternal health nonprofit Saving Mothers. She holds a B.A. in women's history from Stanford University, where she also served as editor in chief of The Stanford Daily.