BAOBOB (formerly OXUS DRC) is a greenfield microfinance institution which started its activities in July 2013. FISEA has been involved right from the start of the adventure, alongside I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs and Oxus Holding.
The Oxus DRC project is FISEA's first investment in the Democratic Republic of Congo, granted in February 2012. The aim of the project is to create a microfinance institution (MFI) that would meet the demand for financial services from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, both in urban and rural areas, in underserved provinces, and in complementarity with the existing offer in the sector. Oxus DRC intends to offer group loans, individual loans and savings products.
FISEA participated in 2013 in the creation of Oxus DRC with an initial equity investment of USD 600K, i.e. 20% of the capital.
This new operation consists of a USD 350 K participation in the capital increase of BAOBOB DRC. This increase will enable the institution to comply in the short term with the regulatory requirements of the Central Bank of Congo and these lenders, and subsequently to finance its growth over the next five years.
At the end of 2017, a new capital increase took place. Baobab DRC (formerly OXUS DRC) is now 99.83% owned by Baobab SAS.
This project is supporting an MFI in a country where the levels of financial inclusion are among the lowest in the world. Significant impacts are expected on the local economy by financing populations who are excluded from the banking system, targeting the neediest entrepreneurs, who are often women, and providing access to banking in underserved areas. Impacts on employment are also expected with the recruitment of 446 additional people in the institution and support for some 50,000 micro-entrepreneurs by 2020.