Developing a Local Strategic Entrepreneurship Plan for the Community

  • Community Growth
  • Business
  • Senegal
This project is led by Julia Saunier, a Volunteer from Virginia

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The purpose of this training project is to enable all key figures of the commune that work in local economic development to create a successful and comprehensive local strategic entrepreneurship plan which will help ease the community’s future entrepreneurial success. The project will consist of a two day-long training with representatives of important groups in the commune: the mayor’s office, office of the sous-prefet, women’s federation, youth association, producer’s association, and the Peace Corps advisory committee. During the training, they will learn about different strategies in assessing strengths and weaknesses in the commune, determining needs and abilities, and how to create concrete steps to improve the entrepreneurial potential of the commune. The participants will be instructed to conduct field research in the commune and later come back to share information gathered and collaborate on how to best incorporate it into the creation of a strategic entrepreneurial plan for the commune. The goal of this project is the creation of a local strategic entrepreneurial plan for the commune with the intended impact being to increase entrepreneurship and income in the commune. The mayor, village chiefs, and Peace Corps advisory committee members are enthusiastic about the implementation of this project and have been key to facilitating how the project will be implemented. The local village and local commune have promised to contribute 25% in community contribution to the project funds in order to help see through the completion of this training and creation of the strategic plan.

The local counterparts that help monitor the work of the local Peace Corps volunteer have been integral to the planning of the project. They, the local mayor of the seat of the commune and the village chief of the seat of the district have worked closely together to discuss how to properly facilitate the project within cultural and political boundaries. Additionally, it is with the guidance of these local counterparts and the mayor’s office that participants for the training were chosen in accordance with the groups most beneficial to assess the communities and benefit from the impact of the plan. Because there are too many villages in the commune to have equal representation at the training, the community leaders charged with organizing the committee for the training have decided to select representatives from different factions of the commune (ex: women's groups, youth associations, producers associations) rather than village representatives. The village has also offered to allow us to use their conference room space for the training, and the local counterparts of the Peace Corps volunteer have offered their time planning the project and assistance delivering the training.

The project will be implemented in a sustainable way by taking the shape of a capacity-building training. All actors participating in the training will develop the skills needed to create not only the local strategic entrepreneurship plan for the commune but any future projects in economic development or otherwise for the community. Additionally, because the training will result in the creation of a local development plan, the community will be equipped to implement the plan and enhance entrepreneurship in the commune. They will have concrete steps and actions to take to improve the community’s entrepreneurial potential and ways to expand entrepreneurship and increase income.

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