In Senegal, focusing our action on the most marginalised people
Kalidou TOURE is the Coordinator of Entrepreneurs du Monde’s programmes in Senegal. He presents the latest advances in the microfinance programme in the Matam region, which Entrepreneurs du Monde has been sponsoring for the past 18 months, following on from Ecidec.
Between 2008 and 2014, within the framework of the cooperation between Rhône-Alpes and the Matam region in the north-east of Senegal, Ecidec supported the structuring and the professionalisation of 5 credit unions. Hundreds of market gardeners, farmers and craftsmen gained access to loans and guidance.
In an interview, Kalidou reported about the project’s progresses since Entrepreneurs du Monde took it over.
What changes were introduced?
“Since the merger between Ecidec and Entrepreneurs du Monde in 2014, we have continued to support them but we also reach a larger number of very vulnerable people, in particular widows, divorcees and women living with a handicap or HIV. They run seasonal agricultural activities and need to develop complementary ventures in order to generate an income during the off-season.”
Which improvements are you proud of?
“We strive to empower the most marginalised people! Thanks to Entrepreneurs du Monde’s methodology, we support them individually while sending them on group training programmes. Today, we support 300 women. They acquire skills and their morale is raised. More than 150 groups are eagerly waiting to join the programme!”
What are the key success factors?
“We have been able to re-evaluate and change our methodology. We also provided our credit union partners with IT tools and management systems.
Today, we have the capability to carry out our operations on a much bigger scale and in a robust manner.”
What are the plans for 2016?
“To continue with the professionalisation of the 5 credit unions and to help them merge, because they are too small to have the means to operate efficiently.
We have already helped two of them to merge: business plans, governance, relations with the regulatory authority, etc. The new structure will become an important partner for Entrepreneurs du Monde. Together, we will be able to support thousands of women and to reduce poverty in this isolated region.”
My motorbike repairs and spare parts sales workshop took off!
“Before I found out about the BAMTAARE initiative, I struggled continually with cash flow problems and with gaining the confidence of suppliers and financial institutions etc. This prevented me from responding to my customers’ needs. It was a real shame: I had the skills and the outlet but lacked the means to invest in order to get more work.
Everything has changed since BAMTAARE has been supporting me! I was granted a 1 million CFA franc (€1,500) loan and received training in business, financial and accounting management […]