In Dakar and elsewhere in Senegal, businesses are trying to recover from the impact of Covid-19. Before the health crisis, the private sector's contribution to growth was already limited, with less than 30 percent of GDP generated by micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). These account for 90% of the private economic base.
As part of its development strategy, the Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE, 2014-2023), the Senegalese government created the General Delegation for Rapid Entrepreneurship (DER) in 2017. With an annual budget of 30 billion CFA francs (€46 million), the DER is designed to promote entrepreneurship and employment for women and youth by combining financial support and assistance services.
To achieve the objectives of job creation and MSMEs, the team has set up the Project for supporting and promoting entrepreneurial initiatives (Pavie), financed by the government, AFD, and the African Development Bank (ADB).
The objective is to contribute to the enhancement of entrepreneurial initiatives, to the development and consolidation of businesses led by women and youth through the structuring of agricultural, industrial, and artisanal value chains, providing sustainable, decent jobs. SMEs in other priority sectors are also being supported.
"Thanks to Pavie, women succeed in finding a job that helps them manage their lives.”
- Isseu Diop Sakho, founder of the start-up Mburu
The alliance of forces between AFD and the Senegalese government is trying to make progress in access to financing for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The Program for supporting and promoting entrepreneurial initiatives (Pavie) has two objectives: promoting initiatives led by women and youth, especially in agriculture and hand-crafted products, and supporting SMEs in other priority sectors. With a budget of €113 million, the first phase (Pavie I) is spread over three years (2019-2022) and focuses on two components: assisting MSMEs and building the capacity of the DER, the project's delegated project manager.
After a challenging pandemic phase, the grants provided as part of Pavie 1 during the summer of 2021 have brought relief to businesses, as Isseu Diop Sakho, founder of the start-up Mburu (pictured right) confirmed: "This financial support from AFD and DER helped us to complete the work on our Point E outlet. It was very expensive: more than 120 million CFA francs (€180,000), just for the building. The equipment is also very expensive. The financing has made it possible to finalize a large part of the finishing touches in order to start commercial operations.”
The three recipients of this funding won’t rest on their laurels. They are thinking big and are each considering expanding their activities into a larger, more inspiring project. Mburu has already begun to expand its national network. Dictaf Corp. wants to make its pan-African vision a reality and Ecobag Recycling wants to move from a waste recovery unit to a full-fledged industrial unit specializing in 100% recycled products. So that no one is unaware of the scope of female leadership.