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Ecookim, Ivorian cocoa farmers' cooperative

A sustainable union in Ivory Coast: Ecookim Alterfin financed the Ecookim organisation in Ivory Coast for the first time in 2011. Back then, this union comprised seven cooperatives with over 3,000 producers. Since it was set up in 2004, Ecookim has welcomed new cooperatives active in the cocoa, coffee and cashew nut sectors, reaching a total of 23 member cooperatives in 2014. Over 10,000 producers now benefit from the support of Ecookim. Everyone wins Ecookim’s main task is to market and export cocoa beans; it does this with a view to increasing farmers’ income and improving the position of

The First Alterfin Credit Facilities

Alterfin began strongly, granting its first credit facilities to partners in the South. Ever since, Alterfin has been fulfilling its mission: to promote access to financial services for people who are socially and economically disadvantaged. First loans Alterfin granted its first loan in 1995, to a Chilean wine cooperative called ‘Los Perales’. This was followed the same year by a partner in Peru and another in Ecuador. The first partners were producers’ cooperatives engaged in fair trade. The financing of microfinance institutions and the expansion to other continents began shortly

Creation of Alterfin: collaboration between NGOs and banks

We would like to take you back to the start-up of Alterfin, the beginnings of the cooperative, the search for capital and the key partnerships, thanks to which it was born and has grown. This is how it all began… In the 1980s, Hugo Couderé worked as a development agent in Africa, where he was in charge of a number of rural development projects. Back in Belgium, he gained his doctorate at Antwerp University in this subject. In addition, at the time he sat as an adviser on a project commission at 11.11.11, the network that represents the North-South movement in Flanders. This commission is

Alterfin is 20!

Alterfin was officially established twenty years ago, on 16 November 1994. And since the past should provide guidance for the future, as they say, throughout the coming year we will be devoting as many articles as possible to the history of our cooperative. Alterfin, a Belgian success story How did our cooperative, a pioneer in Belgium in the field of aid for developing countries, start up in the first place, and how did it tackle its mission? How did it finance its first partners before going on to support over a hundred today? How did it manage to attract more than 4,500 shareholders,

Alterfin Selected for the ImpactAssets 50

Impact Investing Showcase Features Fund Managers that Deliver Social, Environmental and Financial Returns Alterfin has been selected for the ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50), a free, online resource for impact investors and their advisors. The IA 50, now in its fourth year, is the first publically available database of private debt and equity impact investment fund managers. The objective of Alterfin is to help build a financial network that is accessible to groups of socially and economically disadvantaged people in developing countries who rarely have access to financial resources. Alterfin raises

Sopacdi in the documentary on fair trade coffee from Kivu

Discover the documentary from the Belgian development agency. Our partner Sopacdi is in the spotlight from 6'23". Watch the documentary

Best Practices for Smallholder Agricultural Finance

Alterfin and six other international social lending institutions have announced the launch of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF), an industry council focused on creating a thriving, sustainable and transparent financial market to serve the financing needs of small and growing agricultural businesses in low- and middle-income countries worldwide. The alliance of social lending institutions, also referred to as impact-first agricultural lenders, was formally launched today at the 11th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, and will convene regularly to exchange

e-mfp: European Meeting on Microfinance

As it does every year, Alterfin participated in European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg last November. This forum brings together all the European organisations active in microfinance in developing countries. This event is ideal for meeting the leading European participants in the microfinance sector and exchanging information on its development, common and potential partners, etc. This forum is essential for the microfinance sector. For Alterfin, Audrey Timmermans, reporting & compliance manager and Kris Goossenaerts, general manager participated actively in the working groups organised

Share Capital on the Rise

Private investors confirm their interest in ethical financing alternatives. The Alterfin cooperative is a “living” proof that ethical investments with social and financial returns continue to make progress. In January 2011, the capital of the cooperative reached 15 million euros, and there were 1970 cooperative members. Almost three years later (as of 15/12/2013), the capital of Alterfin has reached 32 million euros, and the cooperative now has 4000 cooperative members, 95% of them private persons. Thanks to this capital, Alterfin can increase financing for its partners -like you - in the

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