Benin: a fair to bring SMEs closer to their bankers

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To boost SMEs and better support them, the International Bank for Industry and Commerce (BIIC) organized the first SME fair in Cotonou at the end of September. More than 200 companies participated. A meeting to listen to SMEs, identify their needs, offer a networking space and stock up on ideas and solutions. SMEs represent 80% of the country’s economic fabric.

From our correspondent in Cotonou,

The only bank with Beninese capital in the market, the International Bank for Industry and Commerce (BIIC) arrived in 2020 and is already positioned as a major player in supporting SMEs and SMEs. The salon started lasted 48 hours.

Why this 100% SME fair? ” We have chosen to approach companies, to listen to them so that the solutions we are going to offer are more in line with their needs based on what we have learned from their stories. In our offices, we still don’t have time to identify, to share the history of the projects carried out by SMEs. “, replies the general manager Arsène Mahougnon Dansou.

The Gounou company, created in 2018, transforms cocoa beans and cashew nuts from Benin into chocolate products. Milk chocolate with grated coconut chips, dark chocolate and cream spread, it’s “Benin Nutella”. A pioneer in the sector, Gounou dreams of being a leader and thinks a lot about development. She came with her complaints. ” There is access to long-term financing. We have access to five-year financing », explains Moutawakilou Gounou, CEO of the company. ” When your goal is to be a market leader, five years of credit can seem like a hassle. »

Support and advise

In four years, his company has experienced tremendous growth. ” We have not stopped growing, we have moved three times, we are on our site that we just built and enabled in June 2022 » continues Moutawakilou Gounou.

It is exported to Togo, France and Germany. To improve support, the BIIC invented the “SME Boost” solution. It is support, advice and business relationships. On the interest rates applied to loans, considered high, Mr. Dansou temporizes: “ There is no fixed rate, it all depends on the risk that arises, we are below 10%. »

But, above all, the bank has put on record the two essential expectations expressed by its guests. Arsenio Dansou: The availability and flexibility of our financing conditions “. Objective accomplished. A memorandum collecting your complaints will be sent to the professional association of Benin banks.

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