The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation (GCA), headquartered in Luxembourg, recently announced that it has provided a local currency loan of approximately $3 million to Chamroeun, a Cambodia-based microfinance institution (MFI). Chamroeun offers loans for entrepreneurship, agriculture, motorcycles, home improvement and consumption. In addition, it offers programs to promote financial literacy as well as health and well-being with the aim of meeting the needs of the “poorest, [who are] excluded from the offer of more commercial microfinance institutions.
Chamroeun was launched in 2006 as a non-profit association by the French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde. The MFI later transformed into a for-profit institution and in 2018 was purchased by a unit of ReNet Japan Group. Founded in 1998 as Book Off Wave Co, ReNet aims to help develop financially viable and socially responsible businesses. With 21 branches and a gross loan portfolio of €29 million ($29 million), Chamroeun serves 46,000 clients, the majority of whom are women living in rural areas.
The GCA Foundation was established in 2008 by Crédit Agricole SA, a French retail bank, in partnership with Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. The foundation provides financing and technical assistance to microfinance institutions and other social enterprises with the aim of creating a “better shared economy”. As of 2022, the foundation manages assets worth 89 million euros ($89 million) in circulation with 75 partners in 36 countries in Africa and Eurasia.
By Ben Greissman, Research Associate
Sources and additional resources
GCA Foundation press release
Chamroeun Annual Report
ReNet company homepage
GCA Foundation Home Page
GCA Foundation 2021 Annual Report
Previous MicroCapital article on Chamroeun and GCA
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