MicroLead partner CRDB Bank Burundi SA began operations in 2012 and is a subsidiary of CRDB Bank Plc, one of the leading financial services providers in Tanzania. Created in 1996, CRDB Bank Plc is headquartered in Dar es Salaam and listed on the DES (Dar es Salam Stock Exchange).

CRDB Bank was the first to attempt to open microfinance services through a commercial bank in Burundi in order to attract the unbanked. This bucked the local conviction that only men should have bank accounts. “We have changed this,” says Arnaud Rugema, Head of Business Development of CRDB Bank, “and through the financial education we provide, we have made people understand that women can have accounts and manage them as well as men (and even save more than men).” Approximately two-thirds of its microfinance customers are women, something the bank considers one of its biggest achievements.

Read about its experience introducing agent banking here.

Photo (top) courtesy of CRDB Bank.

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