Adie International : developing microfinance in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin

Adie International : developing microfinance in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin

Created in 1989 by Maria Nowak, Adie is an association leader in providing microfinance in France and Western Europe (165 000 microcredits in France since its creation). 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.

Adie International’s three missions

1 - Promote microcredit and development of microfinance in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin
2 - Share Adie’s experience and know-how with other institutions desiring to create or expand microcredit programmes, based on social performance, financial sustainability and client protection. Learn more about Adie
3 - Contribute to removing legal obstacles to the development of microfinance and microenterprises in Europe via advocacy at national and European levels

Methods and types of interventions

  • Adie International first studies the field’s needs in the field; working in close collaboration with local partners, it analyses the local context and clients’ needs
  • Adie International takes part in all phases of a project, from feasibility study to fundraising and execution
  • Adie International relies on Adie’s staff and expertise, it mobilizes the know-how acquired by Adie and its partners to develop new projects

Type of intervention n°1: creation of microfinance institutions

Thanks to its experience in MFI creation and in project management in Europe and Mediterranean Basin, (see description of Adie’s projects below), Adie International takes part in all phases of the project in partnership with local actors.

Type of intervention n°2: technical assistance to existing MFIs

  • Occasional technical assistance missions
  • Depending on needs, Adie can conduct technical assistance missions at the request of existing
  • MFIs, mobilising its experts in the following areas:
    • Due diligence
    • Assessment of training needs and organization training sessions
    • Business planning
    • Strategic planning
    • Product development and marketing
    • Social performance management
    • Exchange of good practices
    • Reporting
    • Evaluation
    • & more…
    • Introduction of specific microfinance programs

Advocacy for the development of microfinance

Having co-founded Europe’s two microfinance networks, the Microfinance center (MFC) and the European Microfinance Network (EMN), of which Maria Nowak was the first president, Adie contributed significantly to microcredit becoming recognized in Europe. Through meetings, participation in working groups and organization of conferences, Adie International conducts advocacy with European and national agencies to remove barriers to the development of microfinance and microenterprises.

Moreover, Adie International organizes information and training visits based on its experience in France and internationally, as well as exchanges of field visits by microfinance operators. It also participates in numerous conferences and working groups.


Microstart Belgium – microStart
microStart is a Social purpose Cooperative Company created with the assistance of BNP Paribas Fortis and the European Investment Bank. Its purpose is to help people excluded from the labor market to create their own job thanks to microcredit. microStart’s current President is Philippe Maystadt, former State Minister and Honorary Chairman of the European Investment Bank. Since its creation, microStart has opened 5 agencies and disbursed 869 microcredits in 2015. Its action is supported by microStart support asbl, an association in charge of providing business development services to micro-entrepreneurs (1230 people trained in 2015). The association is chaired by Olivier Brissaud, former Managing Director of Volkswagen Financial Services

Taysir Tunisia – Taysir
In 2013 following two years of work, Adie International created two entities in Tunisia : Taysir Microfinance (a microfinance company, the majority of whose share capital is owned by Tunisians and whose President is Tarak Chérif) and Taysir Conseil (an NGO providing business development services chaired by Slaheddine Bensaïd). Adie international supports the operational launch and development of the two entities and conducts technical assistance missions when needed. Currently, Taysir present in six cities in the northern Tunisia and has seven mobile branches. It also disbursed in 2015, 3770 microcredits and trained 2450 persons.

Action Finance Initiative Greece – Action Finance Initiative
In cooperation with Action Aid Hellas, in December 2013 Adie international created a Greek NGO, Action Finance Initiative (AFI). Adie International, shareholder of AFI, has conducted several technical assistance missions in order to train local staff and adapt tools and procedures. With the support from a local bank and several donors, a two-year pilot project was launched in July 2014. Adie International is still supporting the project and striving to amend the Greek banking law

Luxembourg - Microluxs Luxembourg - Microlux
Microlux, the first microfinance institution for Luxembourg, was incorporated on the 31st of March 2016 under the initiative of Adie and its partners, BGL BNP Paribas, ADA (NGO from Luxembourg specialized in microfinance in southern countries) and EIF.
Microlux was assigned the missions of :
  • Promoting the right of economic initiative and backing up people who want to create their own business in order to improve their economic well-being and to become financially independent.
  • Supporting business starters, active entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs who are not eligible for traditional bank credit.
  • Financing the creation and the expansion of enterprises by granting microcredits and credits for social entrepreneurs

KRK - Kreditimi Rural i Kosovës Kosovo – KRK (completed project)
At the request of the European Agency for the Reconstruction of Kosovo and with the support from several international funders, in 2000 Adie International created the MFI Rural Credit Kosovo (KRK). Adie International studied, designed and implemented the project to help revive an economy devastated by the war, by providing peasants with access to credit to finance equipment, livestock, and agricultural inputs. The project was created on a cooperative basis, articulated around a network of village credit funds. In 2004 the MFI was transformed into a company. KRK is headed by a Kosovar director, trained by Adie International, which provided technical assistance during KRK’s first years of operation. Considering its mission to be fulfilled (KRK having achieved autonomy and sustainability), Adie International withdrew its capital at the end of 2013.

In 2015, KRK had a portfolio of over than 13 M€, more than 7,000 active clients, a network of 13 branches.