A loan of $1,175 helped purchase of fabric and dyes for traditional cloth-dying; bulk purchase of seafood from fishermen; bulk purchase of food commodities (dried red peppers, black peppercorns, garlic, fish bouillion); purchase of a scale; transport of goods to market.

Bineta's story

This is a group loan, requested by the thirty members of a women’s rotating savings and credit association in the traditional fishing village of Yoff just outside the capital city, Dakar. The group describes their business activities as follows:

“This project is located in the village of Yoff, the traditional village of our country’s capital city. Yoff’s proximity to the downtown area of Dakar doubtless provides it with several strategies for survival, which are integrated simultaneously with local traditional and with modern methods of sustainable development.

The purpose of the loan is to increase the income of the group members in order to reinforce their capacities of production. The business activities the group plans to undertake are:

• The production of traditional hand-dyed cloth

• Purchase and retail of seafood products

• Purchase and retail of various food commodities”

Original French:

« Contexte du Projet : Le projet se situ dans le village de Yoff ; village traditionnel de la capitale du pays .
Sa proximité du centre de Dakar lui permet sans doute de tenter plusieurs stratégies de survie, intégrées à la fois à la tradition locale et aux nouveaux mots d’ordre de développement durable

Objectifs du Prêt : Augmenter le revenu des membres du groupement pour mieux renforcer leurs capacités de production.

Activités Les activités que compte mener le groupement sont :

- Teinture

- Achat et ventes de produits halieutiques

- Achat et vente de denrées alimentaires »


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