Micro and Small Enterprises and regional socio-economic development Pilot experience in the region of Saint Louis
In order to implement industrial state directives, UNIDO launched a pilot project (2003 –2006) in Saint Louis under the patronage of the Ministry of Industry. The project was called Development Project for Regional Entrepreneurship (PDER) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (financial contribution: 6,250,000 USD).
PDER aimed at supporting local entrepreneurship, reinforcing technical, technological and commercial capacities of 30 micro-enterprises, engaged in the processing of fish products and agro stock-farming (METHAP). Moreover, PDER promotes wealth and employment creation through the production of value-added goods. Value-added goods should secure a grip in the fast-growth markets of the regional economy.
Significant results were achieved throughout the first phase of the project:
- Management, production and marketing capacities of 30 METHAPs were reinforced.
- METHAPs sell quality products and employ 120 persons (mainly women).
- 8 METHAPs are engaged in diary production
- 4 METHAPs are engaged in the processing of fish products and byproducts of the fishing industry
- 8 METHAPs are engaged in the processing of agricultural products and byproducts
- Establishment of a continued dialogue between local actors: simplification and standardization of business relationships between entrepreneurs, and suppliers of financial and non-financial support services (technical services, consultants, training center, administration and decentralized funding structures).
- 25 out of 30 METHAPs were provided with funds (approximately 280 million), derived from the Decentralized Financial System, from promotion funds and from credit lines available in the region of Saint Louis.
- A methodological support kit for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and their business environment.
- A territorial stimulation methodology for the implementation of a genuine endogenous local development.
The first phase of the pilot project ended in July 2006.
In Ziguinchor, the replication of the PDER methodology started in August 2006. The pilot project was implemented in cooperation with the Support Project for Poverty Reduction (PAREP/UNDP) in order to improve technical and technological capacity of micro enterprises engaged in the processing of fish products and sylvo-pastoral production. Within the framework of the economic and social revival of the region of Casamance, this initiative could become the core mandate of an important programme aiming at economic development. MSEs should valorize basic products.
PDER is about to adapt and improve its know-how in the region of Saint Louis in cooperation with the field office of PAREP. The project is funded by the Luxembourg Cooperation (100,000 EUR). This initiative, launched in March 2007, is supposed to reach an agreement on the evaluation of PDER achievements. It should take into account the problems occurring during the integration of graduates from the technical training centers. Further, in close collaboration with the Luxembourg Cooperation and Government of Senegal, the initiative should provide assistance to MSEs in order to improve the quality of their products.
A new programme will focus on the improvement and the comprehensiveness of the tools and development zone of the pilot project. Furthermore, the new programme, in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will concentrate on the development of MSEs in the valley of the Senegal River and Falémé River.