Support for SMEs

Promoting SMEs is one of the main ways of boosting the economies of the WAEMU. BOAD's contribution to the promotion and financing of SMEs mainly involves the promotion of tools, financing via banks and financial institutions, as well as direct financing and the financing of studies.

Promoting financing instruments

To meet the needs of SMEs, which usually encounter difficulties in raising adequate equity capital and sufficient guarantees to make their projects bankable, BOAD has contributed to the creation of specific tools and vehicles with partners such as AFD, DEG, BEI, SFI, BAD, etc. This has led to the creation of :

  • The GARI Fund (Garantie des Investissements Privés en Afrique de l’Ouest), which supports the financing of private sector investments, in the form of guarantees to banks and financial institutions operating in the states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);
  • CAURIS Investissementa private equity company focusing on SMEs with strong growth and profitability potential. After an initial fund of FCFA 5 billion, the Bank contributed to the creation of 2 other funds: Cauris Croissance and Cauris Croissance I.
  • The Agricultural Fund for Africa (FAA) whose objective is to :
    • To finance agribusiness investments (companies and cooperatives operating in one or more African countries) in the fields of cereal production, the livestock industry, dairy production, fruit production, seed production and microfinance;
    • Provide resources for a technical assistance facility, to help build the capacity of target groups (small agro-businesses or farmer groups).
    • Facilitate access to suitable financing for individual farmers and cooperatives.

Cooperation with national financial institutions

BOAD’s cooperation with National Financial Institutions (NFIs) is the preferred means of supporting SMEs. This cooperation, in the form of refinancing lines to NFIs and SME-SMI promotion bodies, complements the Bank’s direct support for the private sector. BOAD thus provides NFIs with technical and/or financial assistance.

To support SMEs, BOAD usually sets up lines to refinance productive investment projects. Within this framework, several refinancing products have been created to meet specific needs: lines of credit, refinancing framework agreements, leasing lines and specialized global advances.

Our partnerships

Direct financing for SMEs

In addition to financing via banks and financial institutions, BOAD is directly involved in the financing of certain SMEs with good potential and adequate organization.

Since the start of its operational activities, the BOAD has always placed particular emphasis on promoting SMEs, which make up the bulk of businesses in the WAEMU, convinced that this group is essential for wealth creation in the Union.

Portrait of a man

Study on SME-SMI financing

Direct financing study

SMEs offer greater adaptability and flexibility in relation to their much more manageable size. They are an appropriate way to build a development strategy for countries such as those in the UEMOA. In this respect, the BOAD financed a study which led to the adoption, in December 2003 by the WAEMU Council of Ministers, of the Regional Action Program for the promotion and financing of SMEs in the WAEMU.

Challenges and prospects

In an environment marked by poverty, with a major growth challenge to be met if it is to have a significant impact on poverty reduction, the WADB will continue and intensify the development of its activities in favor of the private sector over the coming years, by providing substantial support for the development of SMEs in the WAEMU.

In particular, this will involve further promoting the development of the SME-SMI segment through the increased provision of credit lines and appropriate managerial support. Priority will be given to providing managerial support to SME-SMIs, in partnership with innovative assistance programs likely to provide lasting solutions to the structural problem of strengthening SME-SMI managerial capacities.


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