L’Occitane Foundation partnership : Social microfinance in Burkina Faso
Since 2009, in partnership with L’Occitane Foundation, Entrepreneurs du Monde has been supporting the Shea producers’ unions of Réo, Bobo-Dioulasso and Léo. Within these unions, women organise themselves into mutual support groups called Solidarity Cooperatives (Mutuelles de Solidarité, or MuSo groups).
Ensuring an income throughout the year through a social microfinance programme
Shea production is a seasonal activity. During the off-season months, all producers have a complementary economic activity. In order to extend and consolidate this activity, they need access to capital and training.
Entrepreneurs du Monde and its partner AsIEnA, a local microfinance institution, offer these groups individual microcredit loans and training sessions: Entrepreneurs du Monde supports AsIEnA in supervising the activities, and provides training for the women.
Membership of a mutual support group, training sessions and access to funding all contribute towards the gradual emancipation of these women. Regularly, new MuSo groups are created and the earliest ones gradually achieve autonomy.
L’Occitane Foundation and Entrepreneurs du Monde take great pride in ensuring that their projects are devised with sustainability and the autonomy of the local people as their aims.
L’Occitane foundation plays a part in increasing the AsIEnA credit fund in order to finance women’s income-generating activities. It also helps with the development of new activities undertaken by Entrepreneurs du Monde: training, studies to determine the impact of actions on families’ living conditions, support/advice missions, etc.