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Senegal: Using Micro credit to help business owners in Saint -Louis


Selling food on the streets or in the markets, are Simple activities but an important source of income for many families on their way out of poverty. This is the case in Saint-Louis market in Senegal.

“I am a saleswoman here, and what I earn helps me to meet the needs of my family,” said Fatou Diop, a trader.

These small activities are often made possible thanks to micro-credit, which proves that funds can also be at the service of some business people.

“micro-credit is an instrument which has become mature and has proven its worth in Africa. Actually it is often a springboard for access to entrepreneurship, develops a business and has the profile for access to other modes of financing. I think that in Africa and in other developing countries, this is a financial instrument that has become inescapable,” said Thiaba Camara, Chief Operating Officer, AFIG Funds.

Aside other alternative methods of financing such as micro-credit, there is also new entrants such as crowdfunding or participatory funding: strangers help to fund a project with the amount of their choice. A sector which is in full expansion in the west, but not so common in Africa.

Fatoumata Camara, director, JUMIA Nigeria said it is an incredible opportunity, and arrived to develop the framework of alternative participatory financing,

“When we look at the number of remittances” sent by people in Diaspora (more than $60 billion) it is said that if a part of this aid was allocated to crowdfunding it would be a miracle. In the same way, if a growing portion of the developmental aid was allocated in the form of financing for SMES, the impact would be completely colossal,” she added.

Getting a credit to begin the activity is often difficult or impossible for many Africans. Through modes of alternative financing, some shops owners, some start-ups and companies have been able to see the light of the day and it has also helped in reducing unemployment and poverty for many Africans.

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