Project Title: USAID Entrepreneurship and Investment Activity
Each year an estimated 300,000 young new job seekers enter Senegal’s workforce. With few opportunities for wage-based employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship currently offer the most viable path to self-sufficiency for Senegalese youth. While small and medium-sized enterprises represent 90% of Senegal’s private sector, most of these businesses are operated and managed informally, resulting in low income generation and limited contribution to Gross Domestic Product (20%) and employment rates (40%). The USAID Entrepreneurship and Investment activity, implemented by Winrock, promotes entrepreneurship and business investment in collaboration with Senegal’s government and private sector stakeholders, aiming to increase access to key services for enterprises and entrepreneurs, boost investment and create new employment opportunities that drive positive social impacts. Project activities support creation of startups, growth opportunities, innovation, and new business-driven approaches, including facilitating business development services that respond to the needs of women, men and young entrepreneurs (ages 15-35) seeking to improve profitability and secure investment. Through cultivation of peer networks and development of inclusive information ecosystems, the activity explores and builds strategies to ensure entrepreneurs from start-up and growth stages through maturity have appropriate financing options and resources.