A loan of $1,375 helped purchase of village products (palm brooms, oysters, lemon juice, dried fish) and transportation to market.

Marie Noël's story

This is a group loan to be shared by nine women from the village of Oussouye in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. Represented by their leader Marie Noël D., the women plan to purchase goods produced in their village, including brooms made from palm fronds, oysters, lemon juice, dried fish; and to sell them in distant markets where they fetch much higher prices. Loan funds will cover both the purchase of these goods and their transport to market. The group describes their business as follows:

“This enterprise consists of small-scale trade in seafood and forest products. These products are very numerous in our area, and will be sold in other regions of the country.
The purpose of the loan is to help secure self-sufficiency in food, improve nutrition, reduce migration from rural areas, and create employment for young people. Our business activities will be conducted as follows:

• Purchase of the products locally

• Sale of the products in other areas where they are scarce”

Original French:

« Contexte du Projet. : Ce projet est un projet de petit commerce de produits halieutique et forestier. Ces produits sont très nombreux dans notre localité et seront vendus dans les autres régions du pays.

Objectifs du Prêt : : L’objectif du projet est :

- Aider à assurer l’auto suffisance alimentaire

- Améliore l’alimentation

- De ré réduire les problèmes de l’exode rural

- Créer de l’emploi pour les jeunes

Activités : Ces activités seront menées comme suite :

- Achats de produis au niveau local

- Vente des produits dans les autres localités ou il manque »


Senegal is one of the world’s poorest countries, yet its solid democratic tradition and highly developed associational life distinguish it from other countries in its income group. Especially remarkable are Senegal’s networks of rotating savings and credit associations, known as tontines. Commonly organized by groups of twenty to thirty housewives who live in the same village, the tontines provide poor women throughout the country with small loans to finance modest income-generating activities. Repayment rates within these associations are excellent, because they are based on local reputation and personal trust between the members. However, their financial resources are limited to the contributions of their members, frequently subsistence farmers with very little disposable income. This has prevented the traditional tontines from meeting the demand for rural microenterprise loans and restricted their impact on the economic development of their communities. Senegal Ecovillage Microfinance (SEM) works to bridge this gap by linking traditional village credit associations with outside sources of finance.

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details