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Tailor-made services

Specific solutions for SMEs

Frédéric Oudéa

CEO of Societe Generale Group

Africa is a continent of opportunity undergoing a full-scale revolution. On top of the fantastic energy of Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, we are convinced that growth in Africa will initially come from the private sector and that it is vital that all economic players, including French and African SMEs and mid-cap companies, get on board.

Knowing the importance of the role SMEs play in the sustainable growth of a country, Societe Generale Group is a key partner of initiatives aimed at supporting the development of African SMEs on the continent but also at accompanying French SMEs in Africa.

Partnership with Bpifrance

Bpifrance is a public investment bank, which supports companies in their development through the investment and expertise.

In partnership with private players such as Societe Generale, Bpifrance acts for the development of environmental technologies, biotechnologies and digital, but also for all industrial and service sectors, particularly for the development of the social and solidarity economy and social innovation.

Since September 2013, Societe Generale and Bpifrance have been involved in a partnership agreement aimed at encouraging and supporting the international growth of French companies.

This agreement highlights the complementary nature of Bpifrance and Societe Generale's international expertise, particularly in Africa. It is based on strong actions to facilitate the export and internationalization of French companies, in particular the provision of consulting, co-financing and guarantee services with the Bpifrance range of products, as well as Societe Generale’s expertise and facilities in the field of Trade Finance.

Bpifrance and Societe Generale in partnership with Business France have selected 9 leading companies representing French excellence in all areas associated with "Smart Energy".

From 5 to 8 June 2018, Societe Generale and Bpifrance, in partnership with Business France, accompanied 9 innovative French energy companies to discover the Ivorian market.

This "Smart Energy" mission is dedicated to energy transition and performance in Côte d'Ivoire, to limit energy expenditure and take into account the environmental challenges related to the country's growth.

The objective of this stay in Abidjan is to enable these 9 SMEs and mid-market companies to better understand the needs of this reference market in Africa and to develop short / medium term opportunities with key players. local. The 9 companies selected all offer innovative products and solutions in line with the needs of Côte d'Ivoire, in the field of Smart Energy.

Coaching and tailor-made meetings with prospects and potential partners were organized. The companies were also able to go to the headquarters of Société Générale de banques en Côte d'Ivoire (SGBCI) to benefit from the advice and expertise of our local teams. In addition, back to France, the companies still benefit from the expertise of Bpifrance and Societe Generale teams on all the contacts initiated to concretize their development projects.

In September 2017, Societe Generale and Bpifrance signed a new partnership agreement aimed at promoting the development of French Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Intermediate Enterprises (ETI) in Africa.

Through this partnership, the two institutions are committed to jointly providing complementary advice, links and e-learning devices to French SMEs and midcaps with development projects on the African market. At the same time, the two players participate together in projects that contribute to the development of key sectors, such as green energy or the agro-industrial sector in Africa.

 

 

Partnership with AFD

AFD is France’s inclusive public development bank. AFD commits financing and technical assistance to projects that genuinely improve everyday life, both in developing and emerging countries and in the French overseas provinces.

In keeping with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, AFD works in many sectors - energy, healthcare, biodiversity, water, digital technology, professional training, among others - to assist with transitions towards a safer, more equitable, and more sustainable world.

ARIZ is a risk-sharing scheme designed by AFD in 2008 to facilitate small and medium-sized businesses' access to bank credit. Since its launch, AFD has asked Societe Generale Group and its African network to deploy this guarantee tool as part of a partnership. This partnership was very well received by Societe Generale Group subsidiaries, which quickly became ARIZ's first partner, both in terms of size and exposure. Together, for the last 10 years, AFD and Societe Generale Group have been able to support more than 1,250 African companies in their development project through more than 500 million euros of ARIZ guaranteed financing. In many cases, the cooperation between AFD and Societe Generale has facilitated access to financing for particularly complex or ambitious projects. This is the case, for example, in Madagascar where BFV-SG, the subsidiary of Societe Generale Group, has been able to finance local operators in the aquaculture sector such as UNIMA, and thus work for sustainable aquaculture. In December 2017 Societe Generale and AFD strengthened cooperation further signing a new partnership agreement under the ARIZ program for small and medium-sized enterprises on the African continent.

Proparco, a subsidiary of AFD, and Societe Generale have signed a financing agreement on a credit line worth EUR 15 million granted to Societe Generale Burkina Faso, designed to support the financing of investment programmes for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
 
Through this agreement, Proparco and SG Burkina Faso provide financial resources to companies in Burkina Faso. This business support, pillars of economic growth, is part of the two institution’s overall approach: it aims to support the growth drivers in Africa and support the local economy.

This funding strengthens agreements between AFD Group and Societe Generale in Africa and confirms the commitment of both French players for the continent's development.

  • With an exposure of EUR 80 million, the total amount of credit lines signed between Proparco and the banking Group’s African subsidiaries, Societe Generale ranks as Proparco’s first partner in Africa. These operations help diversify Societe Generale’s African subsidiaries funding sources, with support from Proparco, providing financing for businesses locally.
  • AFD, the parent company of Proparco, and Societe Generale also partnered up in 2009 under the ARIZ programme, a risk sharing mechanism set up by AFD for SMEs. The agreement was recently extended in Guinea Conakry, Tunisia and Mozambique, bringing the number of Societe Generale subsidiaries in Africa benefiting from these portfolio guarantees to thirteen and making  Societe Generale ARIZ’s No.1 partner.
  • Guarantee lines provided by AFD cover part of the investment risk loans granted to    SMEs which allows Societe Generale to provide additional funds for them. Since the establishment of the first ARIZ partnership in 2009, AFD and Societe Generale have accompanied nearly 1,700 African businesses in their development projects.
    With these new partnerships, AFD and Societe Generale Groups strengthen their cooperation and reaffirm their commitment to the African continent.

Proparco provides loans or equity, foreign currency or local currency services in the region, for banking and non-banking players with the objective of supporting the consolidation of an efficient private financial sector that is resilient and responsible, able to play its role