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Our history

From a simple idea to a virtuous ecosystem

Notre histoire

How Baobab became a Leader of digital financial inclusion

The Baobab story begins in 2005, with the foundation of Microcred, supported by Positive Planet (formerly PlaNet Finance) via its Chairman Jacques Attali, as well as shareholders AXA Group, EIB and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). We started with the belief that everyone deserves access to fair finance. And we set out to provide just that, with a range of fair financial services.

From Microcred’s first loan in February of 2006 (funding a fruit and vegetable stand)… to the launch of instant loans via our mobile app, the Group’s vision has always been to fuel the ambitions of people, so that great ideas and communities can flourish.

After starting operations in Mexico in February 2006 (exited 2010), the second country we offered loans in was Madagascar (November 2006). Since this landmark moment, the Baobab Group has never stopped growing and developing on the African continent. We are also proud to have been the first Microcredit Company in China: in 2007, we launched operations in the province of Sichuan. Currently, the Group operates subsidiaries in Burkina Faso, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

In 2018, we cemented this by taking the name Baobab. Strong and resilient, the African baobab — or ‘tree of life’ – thrives in harsh conditions, providing food, shelter and water to millions. Committed to supporting its customers beyond financial services, the Group founded Baobab+ in 2018 to offer non-financial solutions. Today, Baobab+ brings access to light and digital technologies—two drivers of economic development—within reach of rural populations.

Moving ahead, Baobab is deepening its roots in the local communities it serves. We’re combining the best aspects of automation and scaling with the intimacy born of our unparalleled network of field agents to connect people through trust, in life and in business.
And the best part is that by continuing to flourish itself, Baobab can extend its efforts to ever more entrepreneurs, supporting a virtuous circle of shared prosperity in the communities we serve.