The entrepreneurs we met, like Benita Dallo, the ceremonial dress shop owner, weren’t necessarily on the edge of poverty themselves, but they were creating jobs for others and wealth that they were spending in the local economy.
The Oikocredit staff we met, like Sambou Coly, were a surprising mix too. Investors in Oikocredit should be reassured that their money is being managed by someone like this former banker who returned to Senegal after completing his MBA in Canada and learning the business of lending money at Royal Canadian Bank and Citibank.
As committed to the cause as any charity worker, Sambou brings a unique entrepreneurial spirit to the business of alleviating poverty and developing his homeland.
And then there were the mango farmers, and vegetable growing women’s groups of Casamanche. 75% of their crops go to waste simply because they can’t find a market for their fruit and vegetables.