Since its creation in 1998, Sogeti supports the IT department of PlaNet Finance and sponsors the Micro Finance Awards and the Micro Finance Summits.
PlaNet Finance is a leading international non-profit organization with the mission to alleviate poverty through the development of microfinance, therefore increasing the unbanked and underbanked’s access to financial services. A small loan can change lives. How? Just look at the pictures made by photographer Franck Thibault during his journey in Egypt.
Enayat (3rd from the left) was awarded by PlaNet Finance in 2008. She has been
teaching hand-crafted activities to young women and passing them on the basis of a
rudimentary “marketing”. All in all, this beneficiary of microcredit is training micro
-entrepreneurs. In Egypt, having a business activity is still an issue for women.
When the milk is becoming scarce or used to feed calves between two harvests, Fathi
Mansour, a modest farmer from Damanhur, borrows money to buy some forage. Microcredit
enables him to go through hard times without mortgaging the future.
In the region of the Nil delta, fruits, vegetables, peas and forages are growing on a fertile
and abundantly irrigated land. But the farmers’ equipment and training are still insufficient.
One of the major challenges for microcredit will be to rectify this.
Fatma Ahmed Ebrahim is raising his blue thumb bearing the mark of the signature he has
just affixed on a loan contract. “My son told me that borrowing money was prohibited by
Islam. I asked him if he had a better solution. No.” She explains. It was ten years ago.
Today my business has developed and my son it studying at university.
In that branch office where only women work, solidarity loan is a current practise. It is a
way to run low amounts loans, from 30 to 100 Euros. Groups are composed 3 to 5
responsible women in solidarity. There are no needs of file study or collection costs.
Trust and borrowed amounts are progressively increasing while the loans are paid off.
Nadia started with a thirty Euros loan only. It was just enough to fill a basket with
vegetables and sell them in the market next to her place. “The more the loans increase,
the more the profits increase”, she said.
In the « informal » district of El Marg located in the outskirts of Cairo, the unemployment
rate and misery are common things. Naglaa, a shy and determined young woman is
running a little soap business in a muddy back street. She buys big drums, blends and
repackages their content.
Sometimes, lending money is not enough. Some NGOs practising microcredit are
contributing to the development of training actions, more particularly in favour of women.
These women are learning how to manufacture and sew clothes and will be able to
get a loan to launch their own business.
In front of the workshop, the woodman is tired and having a little break. For the small
businesses which don’t have any access to bank services, microcredit finances their
need of working-capital funds via short term loans. They enable to buy more wood
stocks and organize production in a better way.
Mansour Ahmad is manufacturing a stool with traditional tools and a great sleight. His
manufacture, armchairs, chairs and sofas are popular in the Red Sea hotels and are
generating much higher margins than hen coops ones.