30 Aug. 2021

Interactive workshops unlock potential of women in rural Gambia

conference


Jainaba Jobe has a small business selling milk in the North Bank Region of The Gambia. With both her margins and earnings not adding up to much, she was tempted to take an expensive loan to cover her costs. In early 2021, trainers Ahmad Ceesay and Fatou Manneh from Buzz Women came with the training bus to Jainiba’s village Jigimar. The organization bus was well-equipped with material on board to facilitate interactive workshops.

The NGO Buzz Women is convinced that every individual, especially every woman, has skills to offer society. They believe, one just needs the tools and strategy to unlock them. Through a collaboration with SheTrades Gambia, Buzz Women is offering entrepreneurship and financial literacy sessions in the rural areas and community gardens of The Gambia, which is an area not generally catered to by most programmes.

“I am really glad for the experience brought to us by Buzz Women. The roleplays during the training made me realise that I had assets available which I did not even realised to be there" said Jainaba Jobe from Jigimar, The Gambia.

During the training, Jainaba explored ways of expanding her business together with her fellows. In roleplays, they evaluated strategies to scale up. After the interactive peer-training, she was able to calculate her profit and gained new ideas on how to achieve her goal. The group proposed and developed savings mechanisms which will allow Jainaba to expand her business without taking a loan.

“This training has been an eye-opener for me. All along, I was doing business not knowing how much I invested, how much profit I made - let alone losses. But now, I have learned to keep an account on the amounts invested, profit margins, losses, what we consume, savings, and even to include budget for transport. This training has taken me from many bad practices to highly beneficial ones" explained Kani Kijerah from Basse, The Gambia.

In the last months, Buzz Gambia in collaboration with SheTrades Gambia has already reached more than 400 women like Jainaba and Kani. Together with SheTrades and the Gambian Women Chamber of Commerce (GWCC), Buzz is currently helping to facilitate the setting up of chambers in the rural regions of the country. This initiative aims to provide women across the country with access to representation and business support services.

“The partnership with SheTrades has allowed Buzz Women Gambia to scale up and reach out to more women in The Gambia. As we speak now, we have reached all the administrative regions of the country and have created more space for women to connect, network and lead their own transformational journeys.” Fatou Touray Cham, National Coordinator of Buzz Women Gambia

Together, we are getting closer to our common goal: Improving livelihoods and increasing self-confidence of rural women entrepreneurs in The Gambia.

The OPEC Fund for International Development and the Enhanced Integrated Framework  are funding the International Trade Centre’s SheTrades Gambia  project.