FANSOTO : Social microfinance in Senegal
Casamance: vulnerable micro-entrepreneurs get professional mentoring locally
Casamance has been devastated by an armed conflict which has lasted more than 30 years. Because of growing insecurity in the villages, significant numbers of the population have moved to bigger towns, where they live in the abandoned, semi-rural outskirts, lacking basic infrastructure. Formal employment is extremely rare, so people usually subsist by running a small shop, a sewing workshop, or by breeding livestock, etc. However, their situation is too precarious to enable them grow and maintain income-generating activities.
Local social microfinance support
Entrepreneurs du Monde decided to contribute to these populations’ socio-economic emancipation. Already active in Senegal since 2008 through local Savings and Loans cooperatives the French NGO created its own social microfinance programme called FANSOTO in Casamance in 2016. The FANSOTO programme provides local financial services (savings and microcredits) and social support (training, monitoring and mentoring) to help women succeed with their income-generating activities and improve their families’ living conditions.
Méthodology of FANSOTO
The team is here to support vulnerable people who wish to set up or develop a shop, workshop, livestock breeding activity, etc. The facilitator meets the beneficiaries, who are organised into small groups, once or twice a month. After a period of 6 initial training sessions, the beneficiaries receive a first loan according to their situation, without the need for a guarantee. The facilitator will then manage the repayments and savings, and provide training on economic and social aspects to help the beneficiaries strengthen their business as well as their place in their family and the community.
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Support by Entrepreneurs du Monde
From the start up period and until FANSOTO becomes autonomous, the local team gets support from Entrepreneurs du Monde’s technical experts on each phase of the mentoring programme, and more specifically on: operations management, information and management systems, social performance, strategic planning, financial management, governance, human resources, risk management, advocacy & fund raising. Ultimately, FANSOTO will become a local and autonomous legal entity able to offer long-term, high-quality support to the most vulnerable members of society.