Joining Forces for the Support of MSMEs in Tunisia – The Establishment of Advans Tunisie
"Tunisia is a very dynamic and young country with numerous micro- and small-scale entrepreneurs. These individuals can and want to drive the economy forward but lack the financial means and financing products tailored to their needs," is how Uwe Schober, Director of Equity Financing for Finance in Motion, explains the circumstances that have led to the founding of Advans Tunisie, one of the first microfinance institutions in this North African country. "The demand for microfinancing is so massive that we were happy that the legislative change enacted in November 2011 finally facilitated the establishment of special microfinance institutions."
However, to found a new microfinance institution more than legislative change was needed. In addition to Finance in Motion, with its strategic know-how in the area of microfinance and its knowledge of best-in-class microfinance institutions, an experienced operational consultant was needed as well as someone with local experience and networks before a new microfinance company could be launched. As the fund manager for the SANAD Fund for MSME, which is active in the MENA region, Finance in Motion therefore turned to Advans and Amen Bank as potential partners for establishing the new institution.
The French Advans Group had wide-ranging experience in setting up and running banks’ operational business and had already proven the value of this experience in over ten developing and emerging countries around the world.
When Amen Bank came on board, a local partner was acquired who had the necessary expertise plus the right kind of local network, to e.g. run the cash management.
However, the bulk of the financing for the newly-established microfinance institution came from Advans. plus 30% coming from the SANAD Equity Sub-fund.
Together, at the end of 2014, these three partners founded Advans Tunisie. Operational since March 2015, the company has achieved extraordinary results in such a short time. "We have already disbursed more than 100 loans. A second subsidiary is already being set up and more are in the planning stages," comments a delighted Uwe Schober on the great start to the young company. "Our success to date confirms our assessment of Tunisia as a very dynamic market where we could fill a major gap in start-up financing with Advans Tunisie."