A loan of $775 helped purchase of local products - lemon juice, palm oil and dried fish - and transport to other regional markets for resale.

Célestine's story

This is a group loan request submitted by the ten members of the women’s tontine Takusaan de Ayidjidjo, represented by Célestine D..  Here is a translation of their microenterprise proposal:  “This is a project of small-scale trade in local products of the département of Oussouye (lemon juice, palm oil and dried fish).  These products, which are very abundant within the département, will be purchased and resold in areas where they are in short supply – in other words, the exchange of products between regions.  These products, which are in high demand and very nutritious, have motivated us to present this proposal for financing, after a study of the market and previous attempts at these activities with very limited financial resources.  The objective of the loan is to:

  • Reduce the problem of rural migration
  • Create employment for women
  • Help to improve and diversify the local diet and to ensure self-sufficiency in food

  The activities of the enterprise are: the sale of local products (lemon juice, palm oil, dried fish).  These products will be purchased in Oussouye and resold in areas where they are lacking such as Kolda, Tamba, Kaolack, and Dakar; by ship or by highway.  We are sure of being able to repay the entire loan without any difficulty and thereby remaining eligible for additional financing.  

To start the business:

Lemon juice:    350 F * 150 l *3 =      157500 F

Palm oil:           1000 F * 120 l * 2 =   240000 F

Dried fish:        500 F * 150 kg * 2 =  150000 F

Forestry taxes                                     50000 F

Total:                                                  700000 F”  


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 with our partner organization CRESP to bridge this gap by linking traditional village credit associations with outside sources of finance.

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details