Specific solutions for SMEs
Head of the Africa & Overseas Region
Societe Generale Group
For many years now, Societe Generale has made the multidimensional support of small and medium-sized businesses a key focus of its strategy in Africa, thus wanting to contribute to African development in a responsible and sustainable way. African SMEs have today been weakened by the economic impact of the crisis, but they still represent Africa's future, as they provide a response to a number of the continent's long-term challenges, notably with regard to job creations and innovation. It is therefore only natural that Societe Generale should be one of the first players to accompany African entrepreneurs.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are at the heart of the development process of African economies. They represent 90% of private companies and they hire 70% of the rural population. They are therefore unavoidable, especially in the emergence of the African middle class and broad access to employment.
For Societe Generale, African SMEs represent 2/3 of its corporate clientele. The Bank must adapt its systems to support them more effectively and thus better participate in their growth.
Contributing to the dynamism of the African economic fabric by developing access to financing and support for African small and medium-sized enterprises is Societe Generale's ambition. It translates into the ambition to double the annual production of investment credits to African SMEs between 2020 and 2025.
Accompany and finance African SMEs
Knowing the importance of the role SMEs play in the sustainable growth of a country, Societe Generale Group is a key partner of initiatives aimed at supporting the development of African SMEs on the continent but also at accompanying French SMEs in Africa.
Agence Française de Développement
The AFD is France’s inclusive public development bank. AFD commits financing and technical assistance to projects that genuinely improve everyday life, both in developing and emerging countries and in the French overseas provinces.
In keeping with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, AFD works in many sectors - energy, healthcare, biodiversity, water, digital technology, professional training, among others - to assist with transitions towards a safer, more equitable, and more sustainable world.
Over the past ten years, AFD and Societe Generale Group have worked together to support more than 1,250 African businesses in their development projects through more than 500 million euros of financing guaranteed by ARIZ, a risk-sharing mechanism. In many cases, cooperation between AFD and Societe Generale has facilitated access to financing for particularly complex or ambitious projects. This is the case, for example, in Madagascar where Société Générale Madagasikara has been able to finance local operators in the aquaculture sector such as UNIMA and thus work towards sustainable aquaculture.
Bpifrance is a public investment bank, which supports companies in their development through the investment and expertise.
Since September 2013, Societe Generale and Bpifrance have been involved in a partnership agreement aimed at encouraging and supporting the international growth of French companies.
This agreement highlights the complementary nature of Bpifrance and Societe Generale's international expertise, particularly in Africa. It is based on strong actions to facilitate the export and internationalization of French companies, in particular the provision of consulting, co-financing and guarantee services with the Bpifrance range of products, as well as Societe Generale’s expertise and facilities in the field of Trade Finance.
SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICAN SMEs
Supporting the development of African SMEs through SME Houses
The concept of the SME House is a multidimensional support approach to meet the needs of SME managers.
Societe Generale brings together international and local players to work together to remove the main obstacles to the creation and development of businesses:
by providing accounting, technical or legal expertise; by providing advice, training, monitoring or awareness of environmental and social issues,
and, of course, by studying financing solutions at all stages of the company's life cycle.
Societe Generale dedicates this space to SMEs. They can meet with dedicated Societe Generale advisors as well as with the partners present to provide their expertise. This unique model, which also relies on mentoring by Group employees, has been deployed by the end of 2022 in 7 other Societe Generale subsidiaries in Africa (in Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Cameroon and Madagascar).
Providing adapted and efficient services
A specific expertise
Accompanying an SME is a profession, we have trained and positioned teams in each of our subsidiaries dedicated to the SME market.
Adapted and rapid processes
We have recently reviewed our credit granting processes for simple financing operations to improve our response time.
A tailored commercial offering
- Equipment leasing solutions to finance vehicles and various capital goods, but also factoring and reverse factoring offers.
- Our remote transactional banking solutions are also being upgraded to improve the customer experience;
- New packaged offers including a basket of day-to-day banking services are being launched, aiming at further digitalisation and simplification of the billing of our services.
The Bank aims to support the CSR impact of these SMEs by monitoring social impact, developing a green finance offering and reaching out to high-risk, "innovative" SMEs via blended finance solutions.
Finally, Societe Generale will continue to rely on the guarantees of International Financial Institutions in order to facilitate access to credit.
Societe Generale is also committed to small businesses in the informal sector, through an active financial inclusion approach, including through its cooperation in the field of microfinance.
To go further
On October 18, Global Finance magazine announced the winners of the second edition of the SME Bank Awards 2023.
A dedicated space to meet the SMEs’ expectations.