News

Alterfin at the SCAA

The SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) is THE event in the coffee sector. All players in the sector (producers, importers, funding agencies, etc.) meet there every year, and Alterfin makes a point of being there too. This year the conference was held in Seattle (USA) from 9 to 12 April.

Welcome aboard, Joan!

In July, Alterfin welcomes a new credit manager for Africa, Joan Penche. Joan studied finance and obtained a Master’s degree in risk management and agricultural development. He has worked in the agricultural microfinance sector for five years and has worked in Madagascar and Tanzania. Welcome aboard, Joan!

What makes Alterfin distinctive in the microfinance sector?

What is special about Alterfin’s investments in the microfinance sector? What is its added value and what undertakings does it adhere to? We take a look at microfinance, Alterfin style. After 20 years of work in the field of microfinance, Alterfin has funded 112 microfinance institutions (MFIs), and currently works with 69, not only in Latin America where the majority of its investments are still concentrated, but also in Africa and Asia where the sector is growing rapidly. Alterfin the pioneer Alterfin plays a pioneering role in this sector. In 1995 it made its first investment in an MFI in

Alterfin celebrates 20 years!

On 5 June, Alterfin celebrated its 20th anniversary with flashbacks, a meeting with our partners from the South and a look forward at Alterfin’s future. If you weren’t able to attend, don’t worry: we have put together a little summary for you! Les Halles des Tanneurs were completely full on 5 June on the occasion of Alterfin’s 20th anniversary. The weather was tropical, and 300 people attended the event, including many members from all over the country and various NGOs and Alterfin partners from the North. Flashbacks and illustrations of our fieldwork The programme consisted of a look back

Strengthening the position of small producers in the South

More than a billion people live on less than one euro a day. Almost two-thirds of these live in rural areas and most of them depend on agriculture. This is why Alterfin has financed sustainable agriculture for the last twenty years. For the last twenty years, Alterfin has been financing organisations of small producers. By ‘small producers’ we mean small family farms which work no more than two hectares of land. Initially, this financing was for producers selling their products through fair trade channels: this was true of Ecookim, for example, a union of cocoa cooperatives in Ivory Coast.

Microfinance: an Alterfin pillar

Once upon a time, there was microfinance at Alterfin… During Alterfin’s early years, the founding NGOs played an important role in making contact with partners. Hugo Couderé, Alterfin’s director for 18 years, recalls: ‘On my first trip to Peru, I was assisted by Freya Rondelez, the local head of 11.11.11. And in Ecuador, Dominique Morel, now Chair of the Board of Directors of Alterfin, but at that time a development worker at Coopibo (later Vredeseilanden), introduced me to the first local partners.’ Important role played by the NGOs The presence of the founding NGOs in Latin America explains

Focus on Latin America : A strong partnership with a Nicaraguan MFI

FDL, a microfinance institution in Latin America, is an example of a strong partnership with Alterfin. FDL has been our partner for over fifteen years, despite all the difficulties that have been encountered. In the Nicaraguan microcredit world, FDL has become a key player. A strong partnership Fondo para el Desarrollo Local (Fund for Local Development) or FDL, is a Nicaraguan microfinance institution (MFI) that began operations in 1997. The fund provides microloans in rural areas where no financial service was previously available to the local population. FDL’s customers are small businesses

Renewal of recognition as a Development Fund

In 2010, Alterfin was the first Development Fund to be recognised by the Belgian Ministry of Finance. Since then, anyone investing in Alterfin and meeting the conditions has enjoyed a capped 5% tax reduction. This approval was given for a period of five years. In December 2014, we received confirmation of the renewal of this agreement for Alterfin until 2019. The tax benefit for our members has thus also been extended until 2019. In practical terms, this represents a small financial boost for our members (who satisfy the conditions). Above all, though, it means more resources for Alterfin,

Fopepro: A special Latin America fund

Fopepro, a European fund created in 2010, has been entirely managed by Alterfin since 1 January 2015. Created in 2010 on the initiative of Alterfin and SIDI, a French social investment company, FOPEPRO is a fund designed to finance rural development (producer organisations and microfinance institutions) in Latin America. Since 1 January 2015, Alterfin has been responsible for the overall management of the fund. In connection with the assumption of duties relating to the administration of Fopepro, Julie Depelchin (Head of Accounting for Alterfin and Fopepro) and Mauricio Durán (Credit Manager

Kampani: a new social fund is born !

Alterfin, a number of NGOs (including Vredeseilanden and Louvain Coopération) and some private investors have created a new social investment fund: Kampani! This fund is intended for agricultural organisations in Africa, Latin America and Asia that are considered too large to benefit from microloans, but too small to receive a loan from conventional banks. Examples of such organisations include African banana cooperatives wishing to export their bananas. What makes Kampani special is that it provides support to small and medium-sized agricultural businesses by entering their capital structure

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