The study tour was been split up into three groups today. I’m in the group heading to St. Louis in the north.
We will be visiting two microfinance branches of Oikocredit equity partner St. Louis Finance, as well as agricultural cooperative Adu Thilène.
After a 4-hour drive we arrived in St. Louis around noon. The drive was a great way to see more of the country and enjoy the magical baobab trees, but it was also an eye-opener to see how much plastic waste pollutes the countryside.
During the afternoon we visited the head office of St Louis Finance in St. Louis itself and after that we visited two end clients with small enterprises.
One pocket for business and family
Evry Cabiotis, African Coordinator of FIDES (founder of St. Louis Finance) said that "for the majority of microfinance clients, there is not one pocket for the business and one pocket for the family." This put things into perspective and I was also impressed by how well the loan officers know their clients and how they monitor their repayments.