Business Development Service Agent
You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process
Primarily focusing on agribusiness and solid waste management, integrating norms of gender equity and positive youth development, you will:
• Develop individuals’—especially youth’s and women’s—entrepreneurial potential. You will contribute to the national strategy of youth and women entrepreneurship geared to improve jobs and wealth creation through training, coaching, and organization of business events. Youth clubs are one important activity that CED Volunteers lead to help develop entrepreneurial skills and capacities.
• Improve individuals’—especially those in women’s groups—capacity to implement small-scale economic activities. In addition to training on basic business skills, in partnership with local and national partners, you will support access to technical training in agribusiness and solid waste management as well as to financial services through the creation or enhancement of savings and loan groups.
Information and communication technologies for business (ICT4B) play an increasingly important role for Senegalese micro- and small-enterprises, and thus are of increasing importance for Business Development Service Agents.
Peace Corps Senegal includes gender equity and empowerment efforts throughout all our work, and strives to make these efforts more sustainable. As such, you will receive training on gender challenges in Senegal and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ and women’s sense of agency.
As an actor in the development of Senegal, and a part of the wider Peace Corps effort to share our story with our counterparts and host governments as well as to bring that story home to the U.S., you will monitor and report on your work activities throughout your service.
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any business discipline
• Experience as the manager of a business for at least 6 months
• Bachelor of Science in any discipline with 1 year work experience in cooperatives, small business, or credit unions
• Business planning and/or project management
• Basic business skills such as networking and information and communication technology
• Experience working with entrepreneurs, small businesses or school-based entrepreneurial programs
• Skills in or knowledge of basic business topics such as cost analysis, financial planning, inventory control, bookkeeping, and/or marketing
• Experience in agribusiness and/or solid waste management
Required Language Skills
A. Completed 4 years of high school French coursework within the past 8 years
B. Completed 2 semesters of French college‐level coursework within the past 6 years
C. Native/fluent speaker of French
Candidates who do not meet the language proficiency levels above can take the language placement exams to demonstrate their level of proficiency. Competitive applicants typically attain a score of 50 on the French College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).
Senegalese dishes are tasty, usually consisting of a staple of rice, millet, or corn with vegetable sauces, sometimes with meat or fish. There is far less variety than many Americans are accustomed to having. Determined vegetarians are able to maintain their diet, but this further decreases variety.
Utilities vary widely across Volunteer sites. Many Volunteers do not have running water or electricity. Water is collected at a community pump or well, and light comes from oil lamps, candles, or small solar lights. Cell phone coverage is inconsistent or non-existent in some areas. You will be issued a simple cell phone for texting and calling. Internet can sometimes be accessed through 4G for those Volunteers who own a smart phone, although coverage is inconsistent. We recommend that CED Volunteers come with a laptop. Heat and dust take their toll on electronics, so an inexpensive, hardy machine is recommended. Solar chargers are available in large cities.
You will travel in crowded, shared taxis and buses over rough roads for long distances, and by bike, foot or donkey cart for shorter trips.
Peace Corps Volunteers are role models in Senegal. As such, you are expected to model respectful, responsible behavior throughout your 27 months of service. Alcohol, for example, must be used responsibly, especially in any public places and in the community in which you live.
Senegalese pride themselves on being well dressed and a neat appearance will say a lot about your desire to be accepted. During Pre-Service Training, the dress code is business casual and as a Volunteer, you will continue to dress in business casual attire for your work. There is a great deal of beautiful cloth available in Senegal, and many Volunteers enjoy having clothing made by local tailors. Clothing should not be overly tight and should cover you to below the knee. Long shorts (with leggings underneath for women) are acceptable for manual labor and sports, but otherwise are rarely worn. Neither suits nor ties are required.
In order to build trust with the people you are here to serve, you must respect cultural norms and practices. For example, greeting everyone in the office every morning is essential to gaining the respect of your co-workers and community members.
Through inclusive recruitment and retention of staff and Volunteers, the Peace Corps seeks to reflect the rich diversity of the United States and bring diverse perspectives and solutions to development issues. Volunteers who are of an American racial, ethnic, or national minority or whose religious or spiritual beliefs differ from the majority may experience curiosity and unwanted attention from Senegalese nationals. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Volunteers are welcomed within the Peace Corps Volunteer and staff community, and many LGBTQ Volunteers have served here successfully. However, same-sex sexual activity is criminalized by Senegalese legal code and punishable by imprisonment in Senegal. Culturally, LGBTQ people are not well accepted in Senegal, and LGBTQ Volunteers cannot safely serve openly. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State’s travel page for more information.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Senegal: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
Community Health Support Agent
Couples will live together throughout Pre-Service Training as well as throughout Peace Corps service. Couples, just like all other Volunteers, are required to live with a host family for the entire 27-months.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.
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