From its outset, OXUS has been a corner stone of ACTED’s development strategy. Indeed, ACTED launched its first microcredit project in Tajikistan’s Vakhsh valley, using microfinance as an efficient tool to help its beneficiaries achieve sustainable economic development. Gradually, development programs and microcredit became complementary instruments. Even emergency relief projects were sometimes coupled with microcredit operations in order to help beneficiaries to generate their own income and opportunity to reach economic and social independence. As the living standards of its beneficiaries increased, ACTED developed longer term projects and expanded its microfinance activities.
In 2005 ACTED separated its microfinance operations from development and relief programmes, hence launching the creation of what has become the OXUS Group. This decision resulted from a double objective: on the one hand to comply with the evolving national regulations on microfinance, and on the other to encourage donors and progressively investors to fund OXUS microfinance programs. In order to guarantee the social focus and the financial sustainability of the OXUS Group, ACTED will remain a leading stakeholder.
As a result, 2005 saw the creation of OXUS Development Network (ODN) and of our first microfinance institution (MFI), OXUS Tajikistan. Since then, two other affiliates have been created and began disbursing microcredit loans: OXUS Kyrgyzstan in 2006 and OXUS Afghanistan in 2007. In the same year, OXUS Holding was set to serve as an investment vehicle for the Group.
OXUS Network seeks to provide its clients in developing countries with adapted and competitive financial services while offering its investors attractive financial returns. OXUS is committed to having a positive social and environmental impact on the lives of its clients and the societies in which its microfinance institutions (MFIs) operate.
ACTED works as a “breeding ground” for OXUS. After providing humanitarian assistance and managing emergency situations, ACTED often strengthens its intervention by implementing microfinance projects in its countries of operation. OXUS then sets up greenfield MFIs to take over these successful microfinance initiatives and the corresponding portfolios. Operating on a profit-driven business model, these new MFIs are able to access further funding and therefore extend their outreach to more numerous customers. OXUS benefits from ACTED’s experience and logistical resources when launching its operations in a new country. OXUS is proud to be able to operate in post emergency contexts where the acute need for microfinance services contrasts with the near absence of MFIs.