Celebrating 20 Years of FINCA in the Democratic Republic of Congo
FINCA has spent 20 years working with the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to provide financial services and education that improve the quality of life for both men and women across the nation. Since 2004, FINCA DRC’s innovative and inclusive services have positively impacted the social and economic conditions of its clients and positioned the organization as a microfinance leader in the country.
The Monumental Impact of FINCA in the DRC
Having worked hard to earn the trust of its clients, partners, and employees, FINCA DRC has moved the needle in both financial literacy and equality. With robust support from FINCA Canada and the Government of Canada’s Financial Inclusion Project, over the last five years, FINCA DRC made 480,236 loans to 180,743 people to establish or expand their business and increase the standard of living for themselves and their families.
FINCA DRC also developed innovative financial services and life-enhancing products that help women and men create jobs, earn more, build assets, and protect themselves from economic and political pressures. With support from the Government of Canada and other donors, FINCA DRC became the first microfinance institution in the country:
- to provide group credit to women who were previously excluded from the traditional financial system,
- to establish a network of banking agents in the DRC,
- to participate in paying the salaries of state agents and officials, interconnected with an electronic money operator, and
- to launch a mobile application that allows clients to have a bank account and be their own banker, connected to the National Switch, among others.
A Focus on Women
FINCA DRC’s products and services cater to the unique needs of its clients, with a distinct focus on women. This strategy has been an essential to the organization’s success. Some of these tailor-made solutions include:
- Just Pour Elle loans that align with women entrepreneur’s repayment capacity and also provide training and mentorship to improve business skills, expand networks, and increase income. Since launching in 2021, FINCA DRC has made Juste Pour Elle loans to 1,913 clients for $23 million.
- The CLICK app that brings a digital revolution to the microfinance by allowing clients to easily transfer money using a simple feature phone.
- Deposit accounts that give women better security for their savings and competitive interest rates.
Building on an Even Better Future
With support from FINCA DRC, the poverty rate among clients has from twelve percent to nine percent since the end of 2022. This a success story on which FINCA intends to improve. In the coming years, FINCA DRC explore more organizations, governments, and investors to expand its reach and impact and explore new possibilities for establishing new products and services to fulfill the goal of financial inclusion.
Two decades of innovative and inclusive financial services is a significant milestone. Moving forward, FINCA DRC is committed to building a brighter future with its clients, partners, and employees. Together, they can overcome the many challenges that lie ahead and continue to build a better, more prosperous future for the Congolese people.