Ending poverty through micro-entrepreneurship? French NGO shows how!
Give somebody a fish and you feed them for a day; teach somebody how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime. Two times iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE Winner "Entrepreneurs du Monde" helps financially unstable people to build their own businesses and find their - sustainable ways - out of poverty.
The French NGO is a two time iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE Winner: In 2020 they were honored for their new social microfinance programme in Sierra Leone called ; in 2022 for their project , an equipped food truck to test business projects. Helping marginalised people build their own businesses is the NGOs mission. We talked to institutional fundraising officer Corinne Doncque about how the NGO operates their mission and what their goals for the future are.
iF: For a start: Why did you apply with your project Flavors & Wings for the iF Social Impact Prize?
Corinne: We applied for our Flavors&Wings project to highlight the work of our teams and that of the vulnerable entrepreneurs we support. Flavors&Wings provides intensive training and long-term support to entrepreneurs who want to set up in the restaurant business in Lyon (France). Helping vulnerable people set up their own business is a constant challenge, especially when you're in a precarious situation! Our teams and the entrepreneurs we support deserve the spotlight!
Thanks to the support of the iF Social Impact Prize and our other committed partners, the Flavors&Wings project has developed and is now able to support, train and incubate two to three cohorts of entrepreneurs a year. The next cohort will start its intensive two-month training next January with ten motivated entrepreneurs. At present, six entrepreneurs are testing their concept in our food truck school.
iF SIP WINNER 2020: Munafa
Munafa aims at “enabling marginalised micro-entrepreneurs to develop their income generating activity and improve their household’s standard of living through appropriate financial products and socio-economic services”. It targets the poorest communities and gives them access to financial services (non-secured loans, saving opportunities) and socio-economic services (financial literacy, group training sessions, social counselling).
iF: What makes Entrepreneurs du Monde different than other NGOs?
Corinne: Entrepreneurs du Monde supports the social and economic inclusion of highly vulnerable people in the world. It helps them to set up businesses, access energy and adapt to climate change in order to achieve personal empowerment. In 2022, we supported more than 180,000 micro-entrepreneurs in 12 countries. What makes the difference, is that in order to achieve its mission, we create and incubate local organisations until they reach autonomy. All our local programmes in the field are thus legally registered in the country of operation, are run by local teams and aim to become financially self-sufficient. This ensures the sustainability of the poorest beneficiaries’ revenue-generating activities in the long run.
iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE winner "Flavors & Wings"
In 2020, the Entrepreneurs du Monde acquired a second-hand food truck. Today, the food truck is made available for a renewable period of three months to entrepreneurs with socio-economic difficulties who wish to start a restaurant business: they can test their concept in complete safety and under real-life conditions before launching their own business.
iF: It is not your first iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE. In 2020, your project "" was awarded too. How do the two projects differ?
Corinne: Munafa supports mostly women micro-entrepreneurs, in one of the world's poorest countries. These women are involved in small commercial and service activities (small groceries, street food, etc.) or are small-scale agricultural producers.
Today, Munafa is supporting more than 9,532 women micro-entrepreneurs, almost 6 times more than in 2020! The Flavors&Wings project focuses on supporting entrepreneurs in the restaurant sector in Lyon, in particular through testing their concept in our food truck. Even though these two countries in which we operate are very different, our objective is the same: to contribute to the socio-economic integration of vulnerable people by helping them to develop their own activities within their community.
iF: Helping those in need to create their own businesses for a better future. What was the core motivation to do so?
We believe that the best way to bring the most vulnerable people out of poverty in the long term is to support and help them in their own economic initiatives. By placing our trust in the poorest people, and in their abilities and motivation, we help them to emancipate themselves and take action for their own socio-economic integration and that of their families.
iF: Lastly: What are the next plans of Entrepreneurs du Monde?
In a complex and uncertain world, where one serious crisis follows another, and in order to meet all the essential needs of a greater number of vulnerable people, Entrepreneurs du Monde has set itself ambitious objectives for the coming years, in particular: to meet the essential needs of vulnerable families by offering a diversified range of new services and to support its local programmes as they scale up to reach even more beneficiaries.
In particular, Entrepreneurs du Monde is launching a new project in Togo to combat menstrual insecurity among women in disadvantaged areas of Lomé: raising awareness among women and young girls and supporting the social enterprise “Auréole Monde” in the production and marketing of eco-friendly and economical feminine hygiene solutions.