Bridge Bank is one of the leading players in financing the SME sector, which is the cornerstone of the country’s economy. The bank will use the facility to strengthen its capital base and expand its outreach.
Bridge Bank started as a bank in 2006 and, since then, has built up unique knowledge and expertise in handling and financing the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs account for more than 80% of Ivoirian companies and employ the largest portion of the population, making SMEs a key economic driver. Many of them face difficulties in accessing finance with only around 30% being served by banks. Bridge Bank aims to close this finance gap. As at year-end 2022, it served 14,000 clients, of which 35% are women.
Technology and geographical expansion
Triodos IM and Oikocredit recognise the important role that Bridge Bank plays in the financial landscape of Cote d’Ivoire, particularly in scaling solutions for the SME sector. The bank is poised for further growth and sees technology as a key enabler. It has embarked on a five-year plan to streamline and automate all processes to reduce costs, offer digital solutions and increase operational efficiency. In addition, Bridge Bank will increase its presence in strategic locations. The bank has ventured into Senegal and plans to expand further in the region.
First subordinated debt investment in Cote d’Ivoire
The Triodos IM facility is provided through Triodos Microfinance Fund and marks the fund’s first subordinated debt investment in Cote d’Ivoire. Jerry Kwo, Investment Manager Africa and the Middle East: “Bridge Bank’s strong focus on the SME sector, its capable management and clear strategic focus makes it a great addition to our portfolio in West Africa. We have a shared commitment to address the financing needs of small businesses and build strong, resilient and inclusive economies.”
Read the full press release.