Microfinance, a concept born in developping countries

Adie was created in 1989 by Maria Nowak, inspired by the "Banks of the Poors" that emerged in developing countries in the seventies, and more particularly the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The aim was to adapt this model to a mature economy and a few years later outside of France (see more on the Adie International section). .

Financing and business advice

Adie finances the self-employed and microenterprises through a variety of products based the project holder’s needs :

Adie and the right to economic initiative

To be effective, the right to economic initiative requires access to capital and removal of administrative constraints for creating self-employment.
Adie’s main missions are:
  • To offer microloans to micro-entrepreneurs with no access to the traditional banking system, in particular unemployed and people on welfare
  • To provide micro-entrepreneurs with business development services before and after the start of their micro-enterprise, to increase their chance of success.
  • To advocate in favour of a more suitable legal environment for micro-entrepreneurship and microfinance in France

Providing funding and business development services

Based on the project holder's needs, Adie delivers the following services:
  • Loans up to 10 000 €
  • "Start-up grants" funded by the French government or by local authorities
  • Non interest bearing subordinated loans
  • Micro-insurance schemes to protect micro-entrepreneurs and their business
  • Microfranchising which allows micro-entrepreneurs to create their « turn-key » business
  • Adie’s staff and volunteers provide a large range of one-on-one business development services to micro-entrepreneurs such as business planning, mentoring, administrative formalities, marketing and legal advice. Adie also developed specific class coaching programs such as the « CréaJeunes » program dedicated to young entrepreneurs

Target population : microentrepreneurs and their business projects

Anyone willing to create his one's job but lacking access to business loans from the traditional banking system, mainly unemployed and welfare recipients.
Adie finances any type of projects. The capacity and motivation of micro-entrepreneurs as well as the feasibility of the project are the main criteria. Loans are granted by a credit Committee composed of volunteers (retired CEOs or entrepreneurs, senior managers, accountants, & bankers) and permanent staff. A majority of the business are concentrated in the retail and service sectors: eg. Graphic designer, house painter, florist, grocer, beautician, street-markets sellers, restaurant, architect, farmer, photographer, etc.

Adie’s partners

Adie would not succeed without the financial support of its partners, which every year renew and very often increase their support. Either banks, companies or local authorities, their contribution cover all aspects of Adie’s activity: loan financing, quasi equity funding, guarantee funds, operating costs, non-financial services. All together, these partners form a genuine solidarity network around microentrepreneurs.

Adie’s international development

In 2000, Maria Nowak created Adie International in order to share Adie’s knowhow with other Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Europe and neighbouring countries; and also to advocate for the development of microfinance at the European level. See more on the Adie International section (see more on the Adie International section).