FANSOTO : Social microfinance in Senegal
95%of beneficiaries are women
Casamance has been battered by an armed conflict for more than 30 years. A lack of security in villages has resulted in major population movements towards the cities (Ziguinchor and Bignona), to deprived, semi-rural outlying neighbourhoods with little or no infrastructure. Formal employment is extremely rare and people survive by running a small business, a livestock farm, a sewing workshop, etc. But their precarious situation limits their ability to develop and sustain these income-generating activities.
A social microfinance offering
Entrepreneurs du Monde has taken the decision to contribute to their socio-economic empowerment. Already active in Senegal since 2008 with Mutuelles d’Épargne et de Credit, in 2016 the French NGO created its own social microfinance program, FANSOTO. The programme provides local financial (savings and microloans) and non-financial (training, follow-up and social support) services to help women successfully run income-generating activities, to improve their families’ living conditions.
Méthodology of FANSOTO
The beneficiaries organize themselves into small groups, led by a facilitator once or twice a month. After 6 initial outreach sessions, the beneficiaries receive a first loan, for an amount suitable for each of them, with no collateral or guarantee. Then, at each meeting, the group facilitator manages loan repayments and savings deposits, and provides economic or social training to strengthen both their businesses and their position in the family and community.
Support by Entrepreneurs du Monde
From start-up to independence, the FANSOTO team has been supported by the technical team at Entrepreneurs du Monde, working on nine key points: operations management, information and management systems, social performance, strategic planning, administrative and financial management, governance, human resources management, risk management, advocacy and fundraising. FANSOTO is now an association under local law, having received approval for loans and savings from the Central Bank.