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Cooperative Bank of Oromia enters partnership with SCOPEinsight to create access to finance for agricultural SMEs in Ethiopia.


PRESS RELEASE

Cooperative Bank of Oromia enters partnership with SCOPEinsight to create access to finance for agricultural SMEs in Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa, May 8th, 2012 – Agricultural Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Ethiopia have difficulties in getting access to finance. A majority of banks and other financial institutions refrain form availing loans to them because they are unsure of the creditworthiness of these organizations. Cooperative Bank of Oromia (CB
O) however sees the potential of SMEs and entered a partnership with SCOPEinsight to provide better access to finance for what is sometimes called “the missing middle” in Ethiopia.

CBO’s main target markets are cooperative societies based in Ethiopia. As a Cooperatives bank, CBO has also supported agricultural SMEs since its establishment. Not only does the bank finance these organization it also supports them in their effort s to professionalize and to be more competent in the Market. SCOPEinsight, the first rating organization in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Dairy/livestock and Forestry, will support CBO in their strategy to create access to finance for ‘the missing middle’. SCOPEinsight will make profiles of the cooperatives based on independent assessments of their organizational performance. Using

 a well-tested rating tool called SCOPE, the assessment will rate the organizations in terms of creditworthiness, professionalism and sustainability.

By partnering with SCOPEinsight, CBO commits to use the SCOPEinsight profiles in their lending practices. CBO will use the SCOPEinsight Market Place to select profiles that are suitable for their lending strategy. The SCOPEinsight Market Place brings together producer organizations and financial institutions. It is a platform where producer organizations become transparent by showing their score and track record, and where business partners like banks and traders can identify market opportunities. The SCOPEinsight Market Place is expected to be launched in Ethiopia in September 2012.

Mr.  Wondimagegnehu Negera (Left), president of CBO, welcomes the cooperation. “We meet in SCOPEinsight a likeminded partner who is also aimed at creating access to finance for small and medium sized producer organizations. Their profiles are an efficient and reliable tool for us in our lending practices. I’m impressed by the detailed information they can generate. It will enhance our lending practices and support us in our activities towards providers of credit lines and guarantee facilities”.Using the profiles is part of a strategic partnership between CBO and SCOPEinsight that aims to increase the access to finance. This involves creating partnerships with relevant parties in the sector, like NGOs, donors and providers of guarantees and credit lines.


Mr. Lucas Simons (Right), CEO of SCOPEinsight, is pleased about the partnership with CBO. “It is vital that we make our food production systems more productive and sustainable. To achieve this, producers need access to market and access to finance. Rating is a very effective tool to link producer organizations to business partners and banks while lowering the risks. We believe that CBO takes a leadership position in this respect and we are very pleased to support them in their mission”  

-END OF PRESS RELEASE-


INFORMATION FOR EDITORS

About CBO

CBO is established to provide all banking service and products. The mission of CBO is to provide full-fledged and customer responsive Banking services for cooperative societies in Ethiopia, other entities and individuals with special emphasis to agricultural and agro-based business financing. The main objective of the bank is to stimulate the economic and social development of the country through mobilizing financial resources from cooperates, private business and public institutions and financing them. The Bank is by far the most agricultural oriented private bank in the country with 7000 share holders out of which 1400 are cooperative societies and unions. It currently operates 53 branches nationwide.

 

About SCOPEinsight

SCOPEinsight is the first rating organization in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Dairy/livestock and Forestry. SCOPEinsight assesses the creditworthiness of producer organizations by profiling their organizational performance. The profiling is based on the rating methodology SCOPE (SCoring of Organizational PErformance), which provides a comprehensive insight in the organization beyond the coverage of traditional credit raters. SCOPEinsight believes in assessing the core business of producer organizations, which is their ability to manage an efficient and effective production and marketing system,. By rating producer organizations and offering these ratings to interested financial institutions, insurance companies, traders, input suppliers and capacity builders SCOPEinsight is able to bridge the information gap credibly and efficiently.

About Mr. Wondimagegnehu Negera

Wondimagegn Negera has been the president of Cooperative Bank of Oromia for over 15 months. He holds a Masters degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa. He was a Vice President at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia before he joined the Cooperative Bank. Under his leadership Cooperative Bank of Oromia has seen profits Jump to Birr 68.5 million (an 88% increase) in the fiscal year 2010-11 from the previous fiscal year and is forecast to beat estimates of increase in profit to Birr 110 million with 3rd quarter results already hitting the 100 million mark.

About Mr. Lucas Simons

Lucas Simons is the founder and managing director of SCOPEinsight. He was director at Utz Certified from 2002-2008, pioneering mainstream certification programs and traceability systems. Mr. Simons holds a MSc Environmental Hygiene degree from Wageningen University an MBA degree from TiasNimbas Graduate School of Management with Merit. He has recently been honored as Young Global Leader 2011 by The World Economic Forum for his commitment and accomplishments in the field of sustainable trade, agriculture and rural development and was named nr 19 in the top 100 list of most influential people in sustainability in The Netherlands in 2011.

For more information & contact:

CBO, Wondimagegnehu Negera, President, wondin@yahoo.com, +251 11 5150229, www.coopbankoromia.com.et

SCOPEinsight, Lucas Simons, Founder & CEO, lucas.simons@scopeinsight.com, +31 30 234 82 18, www.scopeinsight.com

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