WEST AFRICA – FMO, the Dutch development bank, is proposing a US$3 million investment in Farmerline, a Ghanaian agritech company focused on providing smallholder farmers with quality inputs and market access through a network of local agribusinesses.
The investment would be made from the FMO Ventures Program and will allow Farmerline to further scale its operations, build a robust supply chain and expand the team.
Farmerline leverages its proprietary Mergdata farmer management platform to reach smallholder farmer in Ghana, while also providing this platform on a SaaS basis to corporates and developmental organizations active in the agriculture value chain.
Meanwhile the financier has approved a EUR 5 million investment in Fin’Elle, a subsidiary of the COFINA Group, the African leader in mesofinance.
Fin’Elle is dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs in Côte d’Ivoire and offering adapted and accessible financial services.
This financing from FMO will strengthen the organization’s position in meso finance and thus continue to facilitate access to credit for many women entrepreneurs and SMEs active in agricultural value chains, with a strong social and environmental impact.
FMO, MASSIF portfolio manager Jeroen Harteveld said, “We are proud that FMO, through its MASSIF fund, supports Fin’Elle in its ambitions to increase access to finance for women entrepreneurs and women-led SMEs in Côte d’Ivoire, as this is strongly aligned with our own mandate.
“The realization of this latest partnership between the two entities demonstrates that FMO considers Groupe Cofina a preferred regional partner in its goals to increase its presence and impact in Francophone Africa.”
While more than 70% of African women face numerous barriers in terms of access to financial services or simply do not have access to them, Fin’ELLE aims to increase the proportion of eligible women and to increase the volume of loans allocated to them.
To date, Fin’ELLE has been able to support more than 5,000 women clients, offering them products tailored to their needs in terms of pricing, insurance and skill building.
“It is with a definite commitment that we have established this partnership. We are pleased to work with FMO to provide financial support to women entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector.
“Supporting female entrepreneurship through inclusive finance is at the heart of Fin’ELLE’s actions. This partnership allows us to strengthen the implementation of our common vision, to participate in the empowerment of women in Côte d’Ivoire,” says Mrs. Marema BAO, President of the Board of Directors of Fin’ELLE.
This investment follow’s FMO’s recent partnership with Endeavor SA to expand their existing acceleration model in Africa which helps early-stage ventures with globally scalable solutions.
Endeavour SA is a non-profit company focused on driving inclusive growth and job creation through its support of “high-growth entrepreneurs” – specifically in lesser developed markets leveraging its strong pro-bono global network of entrepreneurs, teams, mentors, and investors.
Through a cohort-based approach supported by FMO, Endeavor will focus on helping ventures within the agri-tech industry and particularly from Ghana, Morocco, and Tanzania.