Together supporting microfinance
and microinsurance in the South

And our source of inspiration

Raiffeisen principles: two centuries old, but still as relevant as ever

BRS was founded because the principles of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen remain relevant today in the 21st century.

Strengthened by his ideas and achievements, we support cooperative microfinance organisations in the South. Because, just like Raiffeisen did with his savings and credit cooperatives, they attempt to improve the fate of poor people, through their own efforts and by working together.

Microfinance as a modern version of the Raiffeisen cooperative banking.
This is why his name forms part of our name.

Anniversary gift to celebrate a centenary

The Belgian Raiffeisen Foundation was founded in 1992.

The impulse for this was the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the former CERA Bank, a financial institution with cooperative roots.

Mission for the new arrival

The Belgian Raiffeisen Foundation was given the following assignments:

• To keep the cooperative principles alive
• To enable organisations in the South to share the rich experience of 100 years of cooperative banking

It is no coincidence that BRS focuses on the South in its challenge. The current basic conditions in that area strongly resemble the situation that was prevalent here in the 19th century.

A new structure, equally welcome

After the merger between the CERA Bank, Kredietbank and ABB Verzekeringen in 1998, a new financial group emerged: KBC Bank & Insurance. Cera is one of the biggest shareholders.

One of the principles within the Cera Group is to keep cooperative ideas alive via the work of the Belgian Raiffeisen Foundation. BRS has taken up the gauntlet and now works under the wings of a new cooperative called 'Cera'.

The spirit remains unchanges

In the meantime, the Belgian Raiffeisen Foundation has adopted the shorter and more punchy name of BRS.

Raiffeisen’s motto - “We do together what we are too small to do alone” - has now been transformed into “Together supporting microfinance and microinsurance in the South”.

Different words, but the same spirit. The spirit of Raiffeisen is alive today. Even in our name.