What is BRS?

BRS is the acronym of the Belgian Raiffeisen Foundation (Belgische Raiffeisenstichting). BRS consists of two organisations: BRS vzw and the cooperative organisation BRS Microfinance Coop. Since its establishment in 1992, the non-profit organisation has worked with microfinancing and microinsurance institutions in Africa, Latin America and Asia through training, coaching and advisory services. 

BRS Microfinance Coop was founded in 2012. Since 2016, private partners have been able to join by buying shares. We invest the capital raised in institutions in Africa, Latin America and Asia that provide microcredits to local farmers and entrepreneurs.

Read more about how BRS works here. 

What is BRS’ mission?

Supporting microfinancing and microinsurance together in the South. This is our mission. BRS supports rural entrepreneurs and farmers in the South through microfinancing and microinsurance. Not merely with cash, but above all with advice and in a dialogue with the stakeholders.

Read more about our mission here.

What is the meaning of the BRS logo?

The three human figures represent a community. Humans as independent and autonomous beings, as well as people who act socially, who pay attention to the world and to their fellow human beings. They literally take the lead, with BRS next to them in the details. The ultimate goal of our cooperation in the South is that it will benefit vulnerable people. So that they have opportunities to build a future for themselves and their families. Microfinancing and microinsurance are not goals in and of themselves, but the means by which BRS wants to contribute to this.

Are you looking for communication materials to promote your campaign for BRS or for your own publication? Then take a look at our communication materials.

When was BRS founded?

The Belgian Raiffeisen Foundation (Belgische Raiffeisenstichting), abbreviated to BRS, 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. BRS was founded because the cooperative principles of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen remain relevant in the 21st century as well.


  • 1846-1847: Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen founded the first cooperative and developed the basic philosophy
  • 1892: the first Belgian savings and loan cooperative in Rillaar, from which Cera later grew
  • 1998: Cera, Kredietbank and ABB Verzekeringen merged to form KBC + BRS vzw
  • 2012: BRS Microfinance Coop was founded
  • 2016: KBC and Cera continued to develop BRS Microfinance Coop. From the end of 2016, private individuals could also subscribe to a share
How is BRS administratively organised?

BRS has two boards of directors: one for the non-profit organisation and one for BRS Microfinance Coop.

The BRS team is small, driven and decisive. They are responsible for the daily functioning of the organisation. They can also depend on the logistics, administrative and legal departments of Cera as well as its communications department. The team works from the offices of Cera at Muntstraat 1 in Leuven, Belgium.

But it is above all the volunteers who are the driving force behind our organisation.

Read more about the internal workings of BRS.

How does BRS offer support?

BRS does not offer microcredit or microinsurance itself, but helps microfinancing and microinsurance projects with a cooperative spirit in Africa and Latin America. We offer financial support hand in hand with advice, training and the provision of tools. This is all founded on our unique practical experience and up-to-date knowledge of (cooperative) banking and insurance.

Find out how your money gets to its destination here.

In which countries is BRS active?

BRS does not offer microcredit or microinsurance itself, but supports microfinancing and microinsurance projects with a cooperative spirit in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Take a look at the full list of countries where we operate.

How can I contribute to the work of BRS?

Thanks in part to the help of many people who believe in what we do, BRS can offer sustainable support to microfinancing institutions in the South. That is why every euro is more than welcome!

You can make a donation.

Would you like to keep up to date with what is going on at BRS? If so, please subscribe to our newsletter here.

You can also follow us via Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

And you can also learn more.

Is my project eligible for support from BRS?

BRS limits its support to microfinancing and microinsurance projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia, where it can provide the greatest added value. We opt to organise project support through international NGOs.

What is the link between BRS, Cera and KBC?

BRS took shape within the Cera cooperative. Cera is happy to exchange its knowledge and experience with BRS. As a social investor, Cera is responsible for providing BRS with practical support. In addition, Cera can count on the loyal support of many of its members.

KBC is a co-founder of BRS Microfinance Coop and contributes its expertise in banking and insurance. A number of KBC employees are active as advisers to BRS. The fact that they do this partly in their private time is testament to their belief in the power of the cooperative.

How much profit does BRS make?

BRS vzw and BRS Microfinance Coop aim for social profit instead of financial profit. Of the modest profits we make, a percentage is set aside each year as a reserve. The remainder is shared with our private shareholders in the form of a dividend. BRS itself does not employ any staff members: Cera is responsible for personnel costs. Aside from that, we mainly rely on volunteers. Members of the boards of directors and our Chairman also work for BRS free of charge. No attendance fees or expenses are granted.

I have moved to another address. What should I do?

Have you subscribed to A shares in BRS Microfinance Coop and have you moved? Then you can report your change of address through the branches of KBC, CBC or KBC Brussels.

Are you not a customer? Then contact us at info@brs.coop.

Can I also make a donation?

Yes, you can! You help BRS vzw fulfil its mission: to give entrepreneurs in the South the opportunity to take control of their own lives.
Every euro you give to BRS is worth at least four. Thanks to our collaboration with Belgian and international NGOs, the government adds a multiple of euros on top of the donation amount. For donations from EUR 40, you will receive a tax certificate as well.

You can read how this can be done in practical terms.

Can I become a member?

You cannot become a new BRS member at this time because no new share issues are planned.

Read more.

I have other questions about my BRS share

We have bundled all practical questions about dividends, subscription, withdrawal, taxation, subscription dates, etc., in a handy overview.