Throughout our projects, one of our largest focuses has been developing local small businesses and empowering members of the community to start their own enterprises.
To this end, we built a small business center in 2008 around the corner from École Natangué. The center currently holds a restaurant feeding the neighborhood, and a tailor shop and hair salon which offer apprenticeships to community members. All three businesses are owned by mothers of children attending our schools.
In 2008, we also began offering microfinancing and microgrant programs to families in the community who are in need of funds to open their own businesses in the neighborhood.
The business center at École Natangué
In 2010, we also launched an agriculture co-op to be operated by women in the community, Groupement d’Intérêt Économique des Femmes du Jigéenu Natangué, thanks to a grant from Regione Lazio, Italy. In 2011, GIE Jigéenu doubles the size of its fields and also builds an organic garden next to École Natangué to support the local restaurant with students from International High School in San Francisco, California.
Students from International High School with Souleye Diouf, manager of agricultural projects at Natangué-Sénégal