The USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub awarded co-investment grants totaling $1.43 (780 million in francs CFA) across three promising Senegalese companies—the online fresh-grocery delivery Club Tiossane and two women-led food companies, Biosene and Enterprise Aissatou Gaye (EAG). The investments will help these businesses meet market demands, create employment and mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

Club Tiossane will leverage the USAID co-investment and its own resources to scale up its operations, building a cold storage and packing facility to increase its food storage capacity. The company will also purchase 14 delivery trucks to increase the number of its home deliveries from 1,200 to 4,000 deliveries per week.

To meet market needs, Club Tiossane will build supply-chain partnerships with 400 additional small-scale producers in Senegal, expanding its pool of producers to 500. The company will also help these producers improve the quality and increase the quantity of their production, identify market opportunities, diversify their product range, and access new markets. The combined investment from the company and USAID is approximately $2 million.

Biosene, a woman-led food company that sells products made from local raw materials, will use USAID funds to strengthen its supply chains in Senegal and the West Africa region that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biosene will purchase 340 metric tons of semi-finished products and raw materials composed of millet, fonio, baobab fruits and powder, hibiscus, moringa, and white beans from 6,600 farmers and processors.

USAID funds will be invested to launch an e-commerce platform to help Biosene better market its products, add 39 new staff positions (22 of which will be held by women), train all 96 employees to increase performance, and update all Biosene business processes and procedure manuals. Biosene resources will be used to design and construct a processing and storage facility. The total combined investment by Biosene and USAID is approximately $2.18 million.

The second woman-owned company, Enterprise Aïssatou Gaye (EAG), a rice production company in the Ross-Béthio area of the Saint Louis region, will use the new funds to help overcome challenges in working capital, farm advisory services, and processing capacity.

The expected combined investment in EAG for growth is approximately $5.8 million. The co-investment is expected to double EAG’s processing capacity and respond to heightened demand for rice due to COVID-19 transport restrictions that greatly reduced Senegal’s access to imported rice. At the same time, investments in EAG will enable increased rice production, contributing to food security in the Ross-Béthio area while serving as a model of female entrepreneurship in a sector traditionally dominated by men.

These three co-investments from USAID through the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub are examples of how the U.S. Government supports entrepreneurship across the region. As USAID celebrates its 60th anniversary and six decades of partnering with Senegal, investments like these highlight how USAID is partnering with organizations and companies to develop the country’s private sector and support entrepreneurship, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.

About USAID West Africa Trade & Investment Hub: The USAID West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) is a USAID-funded initiative that catalyzes economic growth through co-investing with the private sector to generate new investment, create new jobs, and increase the value of regional and international exports from West Africa. Through the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub’s COVID-19 rapid response fund, USAID assists Senegalese companies to mitigate the negative effects of this pandemic and navigate changing markets.

About USAID: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. 2021 marks USAID’s 60th anniversary and 60 years of partnering with the people of Senegal.