Promotion of rural small and micro enterprises in Burkina Faso

  • Sectors: Promotion of small and medium enterprises, Rural credit and decentralised finance systems
  • Duration: 07/1993 – 12/2005
  • Volume: 3.9 million Euro
  • Client: Austrian Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vienna

PERCOMM was a rural and semi-urban handicraft promotion project that expanded its activities to 8 provinces. The general objective was to valorise the strong economic development potential of the rural handicraft sector that makes up more than 20% of the gross national product. A branch office operated in each province maintaining direct contacts to the artisans and mechanics. The working schemes were coordinated and organised by the headquarters in Ouagadougou. The project’s target was to improve the artisans’ economic situation and organisational capacity.

Advisory services provided to the artisans are considered elementary, and in fact comprise all aspects of micro-enterprises promotion: technical advisory services in management and credit support, promotion of self-organisation and marketing. A special credit scheme has been put into operation within this project, first working with a guarantee fund and later on establishing a direct relationship between the newly constituted associations of artisans and decentralised financial institutions. Furthermore, PERCOMM reinforces the potential of non-agricultural income, thus counteracting the uncertainties of agricultural income and containing the rural exodus.

The project expanded from initially 4 to 8 provinces, and integrated new branches with female predominance in order to raise the involvement of women in the programme. The main challenge for the project was to make the associations of artisans (one in each province) as autonomous as possible, in order to enable them to promote their members without outside assistance. Many years after the end of the project, most of the associations are still active.

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