Paper

Microfinance for Self-Employment Activities in the European Urban Areas: Contrasting Crédal in Belgium and Adie in France

Analyzing the diverse trajectories of two European MFIs

This report focuses on microfinance as a tool for pulling disadvantaged individuals out of poverty in industrialized countries. In particular, it contrasts the experience of two MFIs, namely, Crédit Alternatif (Crédal) in Belgium and the Association pour le droit à l’initiative économique (Adie) in France.While both institutions started over twenty years ago, microfinance is far more active at Crédal. Its outreach too is much higher than that of Adie. Although these institutions are similar in their target market, loan products and the support they get from government and social investors, they are different in their histories, trajectories of scale and scope, governance, loan size, loan products and outreach strategies.Adie’'s success can be attributed to various factors. These include:

  • Realizing the importance of government and commercial bank support, marketing, volunteer mobilization and extended network placement;
  • NGO status that helps it get increased funding from commercial institutions;
  • Focus on microlending, as opposed to savings and credit, which helped it get government support;
  • Early specialization in microcredit that enabled it to offer various financial products.