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Support the development of African SMEs

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 a target of a 60% increase in credit outstanding to African SMEs in the next 5 years.


How to achieve it?

Multidimensional support for managers

In partnership with various players supporting the development of SMEs, such as AFD-Proparco, Bpifrance, Investors & Partners or the Réseau Entreprendre and local actors in each country, Societe Generale wants to launch an initiative to unite strengths for the benefit of SMEs.

Access to finance must be made simple: helping SMEs structure their efforts to obtain financing, give them access to complete resources, covering all financing channels, help them train themselves to develop their activity... These are the challenges of multidimensional and coordinated support between all players.

For all that, Societe Generale has already set up cooperations:

  • AFD-Proparco and the ARIZ guarantee concerning 12 of the Group's African entities, with 33% growth of outstandings in 2018;
  • Bpifrance University, which has put online trainings dedicated to business managers in Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal;
  • Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P);
  • ADPME in Senegal;
  • Upgrade Office in Senegal;
  • or the Réseau Entreprendre (cooperation in Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia).

Maison de la PME in Dakar: an example of cooperation for SME development

The concept of Maison de la PME (SME House) is a multi-dimensional approach to support the needs of SME managers. Societe Generale brings together in a single space local and international players such as ADPME, Réseau Entreprendre, AFD-Proparco, Investors & Partners, Bpifrance, the Bureau de Mise à Niveau (Upgrading Office) and APIX...
All these organisations cooperate to remove the main obstacles to the creation and development of companies: by providing accounting, technical or legal expertise, by providing advice, training, monitoring or awareness on environmental and social issues, and by studying financing solutions at all stages of the company's life cycle.


Societe Generale dedicates specialised SME advisers and each partner has its own desk to provide its expertise. In November 2018, Societe Generale group and Societe Generale Senegal inaugurated the first Maison de la PME in Dakar. Since then, no less than 5 Maisons de la PME have opened their doors in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. Others are also being developed in Madagascar and Guinea. The goal is to have one in each African subsidiary.

Facilitate access to finance: make credit granting process more efficient

The Group has launched numerous in-house projects with the commercial, risk and organisational sectors to quickly review its processes and its SME offer and adapt its operations to the less formal aspect of African SMEs.

In addition, to encourage the development of innovative and backed-up financing, Societe Generale will deploy its leasing offerings and design dedicated factoring solutions for SMEs, which will be offered by all its locations.

Finally the Bank will rely more on the guarantees of the International Financial Institutions.

Societe Generale is also involved with small businesses in the informal sector, through an active financial inclusion approach, including through cooperations in the field of microfinance and the creation of an alternative model to traditional banking, YUP.