Celebrating 20 Years of FINCA in the Democratic Republic of Congo
This month, FINCA celebrates 20 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Since 2003, FINCA DRC has worked alongside the Congolese population to provide financial services and education that improve the quality of life for both men and women across the nation. FINCA DRC’s innovative and inclusive services have positively impacted on the social and economic conditions of its clients, positioning FINCA DRC as a dedicated leader within the microfinance market throughout the country.
Recognizing the monumental impact of FINCA in the DRC
Through the trust of its clients, partners, and hardworking employees, FINCA DRC has moved the needle in financial literacy and equality, especially through their participation in the Financial Inclusion Project, in partnership with FINCA Canada and the Government of Canada. Over the last five years, FINCA DRC has provided 480,236 loans to 180,743 people, 50 per cent being women, to establish or expand their business and increase the standard of living for themselves and their families.
In addition to the Financial Inclusion Project, FINCA DRC has championed success through the development of innovative financial services and life-enhancing products, helping men and women create jobs, earn more, build assets and protect themselves from economic and political pressures. Looking back, FINCA DRC is immensely proud of the various initiatives FINCA DRC has cultivated for the greater good of the Congolese people, including:
- The first institution to provide group credit to women who were previously excluded from the traditional financial system.
- First to establish a network of banking agents in the DRC.
- First microfinance institution to participate in paying the salaries of state agents and officials, interconnected with an electronic money operator.
- First, 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.
Two decades of life-changing product innovation
FINCA DRC has expanded its range of products and services to cater to the unique needs of its clients, with a distinct focus on women. This strategy has been an essential part of the organization’s success story, and includes the following products and services:
- Deposit products that provide clients with better security for their savings, with competitive interest rates.
- Digital products, like the CLICK app, are accessible to all, bringing a digital revolution to the microfinance and financial sectors in the country.
- The “Just Pour Elle” loan program includes loan options that align with each entrepreneur’s repayment capacity and training and mentorship to improve business skills, expand networks, and increase income. Since launching the new loan program in 2021, FINCA DRC has provided 3,013 Juste Pour Elle loans to 1,913 clients for a total of USD 23 million.
Building on twenty more years of success
Today, FINCA DRC serves more than 350,000 clients, including over 60,000 borrowers, through its traditional and digital channels. With the support of FINCA DRC, the poverty rate among FINCA DRC clients has seen a drop of 12 per cent to nine per cent since the end of 2022, with the goal of continuing to decrease poverty rates in years to come. With 23 agencies across the country, including eight in Kinshasa, and a network of over 1,600 banking agents, called “FINCA Express Full Option,” FINCA DRC is serving clients in 11 provinces. In the coming years, FINCA DRC will have the opportunity to 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.
20 years of FINCA in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a significant milestone, marking two decades of innovative and inclusive financial services that have helped improve the lives of its clients. FINCA DRC remains 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.