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Training and HR development are integral components of all Sparkassenstiftung’s projects. From introducing dual vocational training courses to establishing microfinance academies, we take successful concepts and integrate them into our partner countries’ educational frameworks. One of our core activities in the region is the training of local trainers to implement the specially devised Sparkassenstiftung Business Games for clients in the microfinance sector. Additionally, together with our partner organisations we implement Mystery Shopping as an instrument to evaluate and improve customer service of microfinance institutions (MFIs). Coaching for managers for big MFIs and sharing expertise within the Network of East African Microfinance Capacity Development (NEAMCD) are other important activities in this field.
Since the decisions we make in life are often financial ones, it is absolutely imperative that we understand how money works. This explains why Germany’s Sparkassen (savings banks) are dedicated to strengthening business skills and know-how and to helping private households become more financially flexible. With their advisory services, such as the “Sparkassen SchulService” (School Service) for children and young people or the “Geld und Haushalt” (Money and Household) service for adults, they are helping to boost financial literacy throughout Germany. Sparkassenstiftung’s work builds on this experience but customises the concepts and materials to fit the project country’s specific needs. In Eastern Africa we work with our partner organisations to implement financial education in schools, for women, refugees and other marginalized groups. Every year in October, the World Savings Day is a very special event, and we are very proud that we introduced this successful concept in the region.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) are the bedrock of economic growth and employment. But they need access to needs-oriented financial services to succeed. Sparkassenstiftung leverages the wealth of experience in the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (Savings Banks Finance Group) to assist banks and microfinance institutions to roll out and professionalise all aspects of lending – from product design through to staff training.
‘Fair, caring, close by’ – German Sparkassen are adept at combining excellent financial returns with social responsibility. Moreover, they also make financial services accessible to everyone. Key factors driving their success include cost reductions due to their work in associations and increased profit thanks to their professionalism. By communicating and applying these key factors in its project work, Sparkassenstiftung is able to restructure retail banks and turn informal MFIs into regulated microfinance banks. Moreover, it also fosters the creation of associations that provide useful services to their members. In Eastern Africa, our partners are the umbrella organisations in the microfinance sector. Through strategic advice, product development, digitalization, introduction of shared services and implementation of credit rotation funds, we support them in their mission to be the strong and stustainable voice for MFIs and SACCOs. In Rwanda, we have a special project and work together with the government on the consolidation of the Umurenge SACCOs and the implementation of a Cooperative Bank.
Loans, savings products, insurance and payment transactions are at the heart of rural financing. Focused on the needs of agricultural smallholders and microenterprises, we help create needs-oriented and personalised agricultural financing products that take account of cropping cycles and seasonal fluctuations. Furthermore, rural financing also embraces entire value chains and hedging tools, such as targeted insurance solutions or payment and supply guarantees.
Green finance concerns investments that foster renewable energies and energy efficiency while enabling people to cope better with climate change (by promoting eco-friendly business developments, for example). Sparkassenstiftung also assists local banks and microfinance institutions in developing financial products for investments in green technologies. Committed to the energy transition, Germany’s Sparkassen are the financial enabler behind many small-scale projects realised by municipalities, medium-sized companies and homeowners. In Eastern Africa, Sparkassenstiftung works together with GIZ Burundi on the improved access to financial services for savings groups to be able to buy the ecological latrine "Akasuga". Having such a latrine allows households to improve hygiene situation and at the same time produce organic fertilizer which can be used to increase crop yields. Sparkassenstiftung is advising local MFIs in the implementation of a ltailored loan product and is training savings groups to be able to access and pay back loans.