FACEJ SUGU – Mali Young entrepreneurs trade

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Supporting youth entrepreneurship in Mali is now a priority for the government of Mali and its technical and financial partners. The promotion of youth entrepreneurship, based on the dynamism and creativity of Malian youth, represents a tangible opportunity in terms of professional integration, job creation, and reduction of unemployment; it also generates nationwide socio-economic results.

The commitment to develop the Support Fund for Youth Entrepreneurship (Fonds d'appui à la création d'entreprise par les jeunes - FACEJ) is an integral part of the Thematic Program for Private Sector Development developed by the Royal Danish Embassy in Mali (2017 - 2022). In 2020, the FACEJ program also received financial support from the Netherlands. The primary objective of the project is to support youth entrepreneurship in order to fill the gap in insertion mechanisms (post-training) despite numerous supports in the field of vocational training. The intervention logic aims at the emergence of micro, small and medium enterprises created/developed by young people while facilitating their access to private financing.

As of November 1, 2021, FACEJ has validated 1,166 business plans in urban and suburban areas of the regions of Bamako, Koulikoro, Sikasso, Segou, Timbuktu, Mopti and Kita.

Swisscontact and the Royal Danish Embassy in Mali celebrated the financing of the first 1,000 enterprises by organizing a "FACEJ SUGU" fair on November 19, 20 and 21 on the banks of the Palais de la Culture in Bamako. The objective of this event was to promote the FACEJ system by showcasing the actions carried out by its partners, and the results achieved by the companies supported.

It was also an opportunity for the general public to discover about a hundred FACEJ enterprises, fifteen facilitators and the four partner banks of the project, notably those from Bamako, Ségou, Sikasso, Timbuktu, Mopti and Kita. The main sectors of activity were also displayed: food processing, agriculture/livestock, construction and public works, crafts, fashion, cosmetics, catering, services and information technologies.

To learn more about FACEJ SUGU program, click on this link (in French):  https://facej.org/facej-sugu/ 

Rolf Holmboe, Ambassador of Denmark to Mali

"It is the energy of the youth that can rekindle a modern economy and can bring hope to the country. This is why we cannot hide our pride in seeing these young entrepreneurs play a leading role in the economic development and stability of Mali." 

Rolf Holmboe, Ambassador of Denmark to Mali

Franck Merceron, FACEJ Mission Manager

"If I had to choose one of FACEJ's trademarks, it would certainly be its ability to find local solutions to define and develop an approach adapted to the realities of Mali's socio-economic context."

Franck Merceron, FACEJ Mission Manager

FACEJ companies present at FACEJ SUGU
Entreprise Agro Dem de Sikasso
Entreprise Were Nono de Ségou
Entreprise Mamali Moringa de Bamako
Entreprise Boubou Lait de Bamako
Entreprise Djenny Fait Maison de Bamako
Entreprise Zamago Agro Service de Bamako
Entreprise I Parila de Bamako
Soumbounou Shoe and Leather Goods Company of Bamako
Restaurant Mister Chô de Bamako

Four discussion panels were set up on topics related to entrepreneurship. FACEJ entrepreneurs (men and women), moderators, representatives of banks, and resource persons contributed to the event. Young people used the opportunity to ask their questions; to learn more about the project; and to know the existing entrepreneurial opportunities in Mali.

Panel 1: How can the government and TFPs (Technical and Financial Partners) help improve the framework for young entrepreneurs?

Panel 2: How to become an entrepreneur in Mali? Who can become an entrepreneur in Mali?

Panel 3: Business and financing; How to develop & finance a viable business plan?

Panel 4: Promising economic sectors, opportunities and innovation in entrepreneurship in Mali. 

Panel 3 : Business and financing; How to develop & finance a viable business plan?
Panel 4: Promising economic sectors, opportunities and innovation in entrepreneurship in Mali. 

Evenings were marked with cultural events around several shows and other entertainment presentations on the theme of youth and entrepreneurship.  Those events were animated by well-known Malian artists and humorists.

Songhoi Blues
Alima Togola
Virginie Dembele
Cheick Siriman Sissoko
Vieux Farka Touré

FACEJ SUGU was a real success for both the companies present, our partners and the general public in Mali. For some entrepreneurs, it was the first time they participated in a fair; and a large majority of the entrepreneurs achieved a turnover of more than 1 million CFA francs (1 600 CHF). Numerous partnerships were created with young people from the different regions; some were even recruited to lead training sessions in the field of agro-food processing.

It seems that the re-edition of such a gathering (of young entrepreneurs) is no longer just an option but responds to a real necessity.

Some testimonies:

«The FACEJ SUGU event was a great success. I reiterate my gratitude to all those who have contributed to the success of this event, my heartfelt kudos to all. Long live Malian entrepreneurship, long live Made in Mali, long live FACEJ! I hope that every entrepreneur in Mali and even in Africa can learn and benefit from our example.»

Diawara Marietou Diarra, promoter of the company "Agribio Mali"

«Our thanks to the FACEJ team for this beautiful and fruitful initiative. For a first edition, FACEJ SUGU has been a success and we look forward to the next edition with new and high expectations.»

Oumou Konate, promoter of Soja for Life


Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Support for Business Creation by Young People
Mali faces several major challenges related to youth employment. These are: (i) the rapid increase in the working-age population and the difficulties of finding jobs to young people, (ii) the important place taken by informal jobs, (iii) the low proportion of formal jobs in the private and public sectors, (iv) the low human capital accumulation,...