Forging a Path to Microfinancing in Africa

Adei Institute of Technology
3 min readJun 23, 2023
Photo by NORTHFOLK on Unsplash

As we approach the end of the first half of 2023, this is as a time as any to look back at some of our activities in the past year. This has been a year of expansion planning and working to realize a number of programs that the Adei Institute of Technology has had simmering on the back burner since we delivered our very first training programs in 2018. Perhaps the biggest undertaking this year is our expansion of our Innovation Lab programming through the Data Science Fellowship & Talent Accelerator to bolster our efforts to provide world class development training to workforces across Africa (a major update on the progress of these groundbreaking programs will be shared very soon!).

However, just as important to our overall mission as an organization is our commitment to providing access to financing and resources to African businesses and startups at various stages of growth. With our reputation as middlemen between venture capitalists across the world and the African startups who have participated in our various training, accelerator and business pitch programs; we have been able to facilitate funding on a large scale for a number of startups in the startup and growth stage.

This year, we have been working with Flyer Consulting (the student-led business consulting arm of the University of Dayton, Ohio) to flesh out one part of this commitment to financing for the first time since our inception — the provision of low cost micro-loans to new (ideation stage) businesses seeking that first burst of funding to get their ideas of the ground. This has always been a major part of our mission as we are keenly aware of the great number of obstacles that keep many potential business owners from taking that first step and how this affects the face of African entrepreneurship as a whole.

This program is currently being developed as part of the University’s micro-lending fund pipeline which has delivered business loans amounting to over $20,000 to less affluent populations in order to accelerate business growth in these areas. This fund has been successfully implemented in other locations including Dayton (Ohio, U.S.) and Nairobi (Kenya). Our path to making this successful business growth fund available to new entrepreneurs in Côte d’Ivoire has been an ongoing partnership between Flyer Consulting and our internal finance team led by Kobenan Dassie — Adei Foundation’s Treasurer/CFO.

To ensure the fund is adapted to meet the unique needs of the business and financing landscape in Côte d’Ivoire, a number of consulting sessions have been held in the past year. These meetings have facilitating a meeting of the minds between both teams as we work to flesh out the following components of the program;

  • Development of the core application package and process based on SMART objectives and the 3 Ps of credit financing.
  • Assessment of repayment trends with comparisons between the informal and formal sectors, tech and non-tech sectors etc.
  • Research into relevant and localized economic, financial and social factors.
  • Business growth analysis of key business sectors in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Determination of trackable goals for loan disbursement and follow up protocols.

This has been an immersive development process for all involved and the Adei Institute team has gained a great deal of insights into financing in Côte d’Ivoire and Africa as a whole. As we continue to work towards a final program plan and disbursement of the first loans of the program by 2024, more details will be shared in the coming months.