European Investment Bank

Pictures: 2023 European Microfinance Week

The European Microfinance Award winner for 2023 is Yikri, a financial services firm based in Burkina Faso. The award is an initiative of the Luxembourg government (directorate of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs) that aims at improving financial inclusion to alleviate poverty.

Set up in 2014 by Entrepreneurs du Monde, an NGO, Yikri provides financial services to the poorest parts of Burkina Faso’s population, especially women not covered by existing microfinance institutions (MFIs), in the peri-urban districts of Ouagadougou and then in rural areas.

Stunningly, the loans (which are of small size, with the repayment period and frequency dependent on the activity) are approved without any form of guarantee or joint liability. The offices of Yikri are close to the beneficiaries to limit transportation cost.

Yikri provides a wide range complementary services such as trainings to better manage their income- generating activities, support from experts on agricultural methods in rural areas, adapted health insurance schemes, support from social workers connecting beneficiaries to relevant organisations, discussions on social and gender issues, support to get official documents and other services.