Equity and Proparco sign Sh1.5 billion to support loans to SMEs in the DRC


Equity BCDC and Proparco  have signed a  Sh1.5 billion portfolio guarantee to support loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo .

This comes a year after signing a first guarantee scheme for the benefits of Congolese SMEs affected by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, Proparco and Equity BCDC are renewing their partnership.

According to Proparco,with this guarantee, Equity BCDC will continue to increase its financing in favour of high-impact SMEs, particularly those owned by women and young adults, in line with it’s new 2023-2027 strategy.

While SMEs make a significant contribution to job creation, sustainable economic growth and improved access to goods and services such as healthcare, education and renewable energies, they suffer from a financing deficit that hampers their development. In the DRC, only 6% of the population is banked. In this context, Equity Banque Commerciale du Congo (Equity BCDC) and Proparco both focus on financial inclusion of underserved populations and SMEs as a core pillar of their respective strategies.

Equity BCDC was created in 2020 through the acquisition of BCDC by the Congolese subsidiary of Equity Group Holding (EGH), one of Africa’s leading banking groups originally from Kenya. Present in 6 East African countries, the group aims to extend its presence to 15 countries by 2025.

In the DRC, Equity BCDC stands out for its ongoing support for SMEs, women entrepreneurs and rural populations with tailored financing solutions.

Equity Bank is also known for its high-impact development programs  run by the Equity Group Foundation in the fields of education, health, energy, agri-food, health, financial inclusion and social protection.

Proparco is the private sector arm of Agence Française de Développement (AFD Group). Proparco has been active for over 40 years in promoting sustainable economic, social and environmental development. Since 2021 Proparco has established a priority program in the Democratic Republic of Congo to finance and support corporates and SMEs in the agri-food, renewable energy, financial inclusion and healthcare sectors in particular.

The EURIZ guarantee granted to Equity BCDC in the amount of 10M EUR (denominated in USD) benefits from the financial support of the European Union and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACP).

The project will contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 3 “Good health and well-being”, SDG 4 “Quality education”, SDG 5 “Gender equality”, SDG 7 “Clean and affordable energy”, SDG 8 “Decent work and economic growth” and SDG 13 “Combating climate change”.