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AwardsAwards for Excellence

Excellence in leadership in Africa 2020: Societe Generale

Awards for Excellence 2020

Societe Generale has long been active in promoting finance for small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa.

Under deputy chief executive Philippe Heim, it expanded its Maison de la PME programme in 2019, which facilitates funding for SMEs.

The programme now runs in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Benin and Guinea.

The French bank has also signed agreements with Proparco, the private-sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement, in both Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

“Due to the change in customer needs, the market for SMEs is not properly covered,” says Laurent Goutard, head of Societe Generale in Africa. “We’ve developed a network of houses for SMEs, and the idea is to help entrepreneurs to structure projects and be capable of banking those projects.

“We’ve taken a different approach in one country to another, postponed some loans and now the main activity is proximity – being as close as possible to clients. All the teams are open and are in touch with clients, asking how we can support them.”