IOM Senegal Supports Returnees to Become Successful Agricultural Entrepreneurs Through Networking Activities
Dakar - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supports returnees to Senegal running micro and small enterprises in the agricultural sector to participate in networking events at the national and international level, in a bid to expand their networks and strengthen their entrepreneurial capacities.
In March 2022, two returnees from the Tambacounda region in Senegal participated in a job fair organized in Agadez by IOM Niger in partnership with the Centre Incubateur des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises au Niger (CIPMEN). Participation in the fair promoted networking between IOM Senegal beneficiaries, start-up entrepreneurs and IOM Niger beneficiaries who are already entrepreneurs.
Last April, five returnees participated in the Agripreneurs Fair in Dakar, organized by Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency. This was an opportunity to discover techniques for processing, preserving, and marketing local products. These activities are supported under the project “Consolidation of achievements in reintegration of returnees to Senegal through integrated support to micro and small enterprises” funded by the Czech Republic and implemented by IOM.
This project aims to increase economic opportunities for returnees and young Senegaleses in the agricultural sector, in order to contribute to enhancing their employability. It is implemented in the Tambacounda region and started in November 2021, for a duration of one year. After their participation in these fairs, the beneficiaries were able to share their experience with other returnees and young people in their communities through word of mouth and social networks. They were able to demonstrate that doing business in Senegal opens doors to travel in safety and contact with other environments in a safe and legal way.
According to one of the participants, “A lot of young people have started self-entrepreneurship in Senegal, so it really encourages us to stay in our country to work and build success with our families.” Another participant called on young people of his community in the village of Saré Niana, in the department of Tambacounda: “Everything is possible, only willingness counts. This fair really pushes me to work hard to improve things and build success where I am.”
IOM strongly believes in the importance of these activities to contribute to boosting the entrepreneurial environment among youths and consolidate relationships between all actors who interact with businesses, including local authorities, the private sector, civil society organizations, youth and women’s associations, craftsmen, migrants, and diaspora members. This will help to create an information network between these actors for future action.