Faced with the problems of financing specific to small and medium-sized enterprises in Burkina Faso, Sinergi Burkina, in partnership with I&P and the European Union organized this Thursday, June 10 in Ouagadougou (Hotel Laïco) a conference-debate dedicated to alternative financing.
Moderated by Issaka Kargougou, General Manager of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Burkina Faso (CCI-BF), this roundtable, which welcomed about 60 participants, brought together 4 actors of the entrepreneurial ecosystem:
- Job Zongo, General Manager of Sinergi Burkina
- Joel Neubert, Head of the Employment & Growth team of the European Union delegation in Burkina Faso
- Angéline Traoré Yougbaré, Founder and Director of Maison Fenel, a fashion accessory production house using local fabrics (Faso Dan Fani)
- Mahamadi Rouamba, general manager and founder of the start-up studio BeoogoLAB
After presenting a study conducted by a consortium of actors, Joel Neubert, spoke about some characteristics of the entrepreneurial sector in Burkina Faso marked by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that occupy 80% of the economic fabric. 96% of them are micro-enterprises, mostly in the trade sector, services, and industry (agribusiness, manufacturing, energy).
However, financing and support difficulties persist: Job Zongo and Mahamadi Rouamba, who work with entrepreneurs mentioned the difficulty of accessing traditional financing. “It is difficult to get a loan from the bank. So I waited before I could build my business with my own funds. It was after that that I was supported by Sinergi Burkina”, added Angéline Traoré Yougbaré.
The private sector is at the heart of the priorities of some actors, such as the European Union. After a long investment in the public sector, Joel Neubert explained the European Union’s strategy to further support the private sector through collaboration with private actors. European Union is funding I&P Acceleration in Sahel program, an initiative of I&P. Implemented by Sinergi Burkina in Burkina Faso, Job Zongo presented the objectives of the program and the seed funding.
“Seed financing is an innovative financing solution that allows small businesses to scale up. With I&P Acceleration in Sahel, we grant between 2 and 40 million CFA francs per company. We take care of finding start-ups that need to increase their production capacity. We are first and foremost an impact fund, we also make sure to create value on a societal and environmental level.”
Angéline Traoré Yougbaré then spoke about the contribution of this program on her company : acquisition of sewing machines, recruitment of an accountant, support for the restructuring of the company, etc.
This conference-discussion ended with ideas and recommendations to promote discussion between public-private partners and improve the business sector in Burkina Faso, especially for women and youth. Among these recommendations, the speakers called for strengthening the synergies between the various actors through the updating of directories of technical and financial support structures, and the updating of an information portal that will allow access to the financing needs of businesses, especially those led by youth and women.