The L'OCCITANE Foundation has been supporting the microfinance project developed by the EDM association since 2009. This project was based on the desire of women in shea unions to develop complementary activities alongside their shea work, increasing their income.1
The project, which initially followed a conventional model, has been restructured several times to produce a project that is now more adapted to the needs and realities of rural women:
- The interest rate has been revised to be less restrictive for borrowers
- The availability period and duration of loans have been made more flexible
- Different types of loans have been set up and linked to specific training courses (e.g. agricultural loans)
This project was first developed for the benefit of 600 shea farmers in Burkina Faso before opening up to other women living in rural areas who expressed a need for it. Today, more than 14,000 women in the provinces of Houet, Sissili, Ziro, Sanguié, Bougouriba and the rural communes of Tanghin-Dassouri and Pabré benefit from the project's activities. It is estimated that by 2021, 27,137 women will have benefited from microcredit, training and advisory support, allowing them to effectively develop their income-generating activities.
1According to the PPI 2015 report, more than 80% of the women surveyed wanted to benefit from the project's activities