In order to develop the entrepreneurial capacity of young people, through micro, small and medium enterprises, but also to promote the emergence of a new generation of creators of sustainable micro-enterprises, the State of Burkina Faso has initiated through the Support Project for Financial Inclusion and Access to Finance for SMEs (PAIF-PME), the business plan competition.
The objective of this competition is to find solutions to overcome obstacles to access to credit for SMEs run by women and youth while improving both supply and demand.
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Winners received certificates in addition to granting checks
Twelve winners, including eight women, received a government grant of more than $420,244 (288 million CFA francs). This, through the PAIF-PME supported by the World Bank. The grants awarded range from $16,770 (11 494 000 CFA) to $54,000 (37 000 000 CFA) per project. At the same time, 25 other laureates are beneficiaries of technical support from the said project to enable them to obtain financing from partner banking institutions.
Clearly, eight enterprises created by women and four others by men in the form of companies, cooperatives, or individual enterprises receive their awards. They come from all sectors of economic activity and have undergone several stages of a national jury. Those who have managed to win received the congratulations of the minister in charge of the economy who expressed his encouragement to all competitors.
Environmental project wins top prize
For the manager of Faso Atiéké, Wendlassida Florence Bassono/Kaboré, this prize is the pure grace of God. According to Ms. Bassono, her sustainable waste management project is an initiative that in addition to being profitable contributes to the preservation of the environment. “We are going to install a bio-digester that will allow us to replace butane gas with bio-gas for cooking our atiéké. And the biodigester will also provide us with compost that we will give to women producers of cassava for the production of agroecological cassava,” she presented.
According to Ms. Bassono, these chemical-free cassava plants will help regenerate the soil in order to face climate change and preserve the health of consumers.
“This prize is a relief for us. Because we are indebted most of the time through bank loans with difficult conditions. And here is a subsidy that comes at the right time to allow us to achieve some of our projects,” she said.
If young people are full of ideas and creativity, it is essential to develop and support their emulation in order to respond to the needs of development and job creation in Burkina Faso, according to the World Bank’s resident representative, Maïmouna M’Bow Fam.
More than 74 billion CFA francs for the implementation of PAIF-PME
“This is to say how proud I am to co-sponsor this award ceremony for the winners of the first edition of the business plan competition,” she said. According to Ms. Maimouna M’Bow Fam, the World Bank supports Burkina Faso in the implementation of its development policies. And it is within this framework that the country has benefited in 2019 from financing of $110 million or more than 74 billion CFA francs for the implementation of the PAIF-PME.
The representative of the World Bank said she was satisfied with the enthusiasm that the first edition of the CPA has generated among promoters, with 802 projects submitted for competition from the thirteen regions of the country. During the selection phase, special attention was paid to women entrepreneurs, and start-ups operating in the field of financial technologies (fintech).
The award ceremony took place in a beautiful atmosphere thanks to the performance of artists such as Hawa Boussim, Malika La Slamazone, and Greg Burkimbila.
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First published in lefaso.net, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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