Less risk, more impact and a boost for women empowerment. With this indirect loan of 50,000 euros, Rwandan microcredit partner CLECAM can provide 250 trained farmers, the majority of them women, with small loans to build a sustainable income for their families with agriculture.
- 250 people reached
Finance for female farmers
For small farmers in Rwanda it’s very difficult to get a loan. This is especially the case for women. And yet access to finance is key to unlock their potential and become successful.
For Claudine Nyirangirimana it has made a world of difference. Thanks to a microcredit loan from CLECAM, she was able to purchase maize seeds and inputs at the right time for planting. As a result, her yields have almost doubled and her income increased, allowing her to pay off her loan, send her children to school and starting cooking on gas instead of charcoal.
But the biggest win is her self-confidence. “My life has really changed. My confidence increased. I started being a leader of a saving group and now, I am in the cooperative leadership” she says. For women like Claudine, the loan is more than just money. It’s empowerment.
About the company
CLECAM is a Rwandan microcredit institution that was created in 2007 by the merger of 2 microcredit organizations. Both had been set up by farmers' cooperatives to provide credit to their members for their agricultural activities, and that is still the main goal. Moreover, with 23,302 shareholders, CLECAM is still owned by the farmers themselves. This makes CLECAM an institution by farmers for farmers.
CLECAM offers farmers (m/f) various financial products and services, such as financial literacy trainings, saving services and small loans with an average of USD 700. Since most small farmers cannot access a bank, CLECAM's services are in high demand. Currently CLECAM has 68,769 savers and 6,500 borrowers, including 4,100 men and 2,400 women. They can deposit and withdraw money at any of the CLECAM service points, which is regulated by the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR). CLECAM has 5 branches with a total of 10 local service points, which farmers in the southern parts of Rwanda can access.
Because it is especially difficult for women to get a loan, this PlusPlus loan helps to empower female farmers and boost their potential. Thanks to a program of development organization Cordaid, the farmers (male and female) have already been trained in gender awareness, financial literacy and the use of digital finance tools, which create efficiency. They are now applying these skills and working hard to improve their agricultural business activities. The finance they need for this, they can loan from CLECAM, at a favorable rate of 1.5% per month.
This low rate is possible thanks to CLECAM’s cooperation with humanitarian organizations, who also bear the risks of exchange rate losses. This way, neither CLECAM nor the farmers will be negatively affected by currency fluctuations. Any actual profit made by CLECAM is divided among its’ owners: the farmers themselves.
Purpose of the loan
With a loan of € 50,000, CLECAM can support 250 farmers, over half of which are women, to get a loan. The farmers use these loans to buy seeds for rice, maize or beans, but also fertilizers and other supplies they need to improve their yields. The loans are needed in August and September, when planting season starts.
This loan creates impact for 250 farmers, the majority of which are women, who have access to the finance they need to invest in their agricultural activities and build a sustainable income. This benefits their whole family.
The loan also contributes to women empowerment by creating equal opportunities for male and female farmers. Giving female farmers access to the finance they need boosts their potential and enables them not only to improve their situation financially, it also builds their confidence and stimulates female leadership. The fact that Cordaid has already trained the farmers in financial, digital and entrepreneurial skills increases their chances of success.
This loan is provided via a local microcredit institution. Loans through a microcredit partner have less risk than direct loans to an entrepreneur, because the partner can spread risks. Our partner gives us full insight into the loan portfolio, delays, depreciations and reserves they hold to cover these risks. For more about the difference between a direct and indirect loan, click here.
CLECAM has a competent, experienced and stable Management Team. It is led by Managing Director Merchias Dusabumurenyi, who has a Bachelor degree in Management and over 15 years’ experience in micro finance management. Merchias manages the organization together with Director of Operations Louis Lambert Nzabandora, Finance & Administration Director Naphtal Ndahayo and Jean Baptiste Buregeya as Head of Audit. Together they lead the 5 branch managers, an internal auditor and accountant. The MT members have been involved with CLECAM since the beginning and are accountable to a nine-member Board of Directors.
Mission & vision
It is CLECAM’s mission to contribute significantly to poverty alleviation in Rwanda by offering professional and, through the use of modern technology, profitable financial and non-financial services to farmers, especially to women and youth.
As a result of Covid, the number of outstanding loans that could not be repaid to CLECAM in 2020 and 2021 was slightly higher than normal. Since then, CLECAM has been able to recover most of them and is now ready to expand its’ portfolio. CLECAM has a healthy reserve to absorb possible losses.
|Company name||Clecam Ejo-Heza|
Impact of this project
- With this investment 250 people are reached
About Clecam Ejo-Heza
About the risks
Read more about the Risks.