Thanks to my small business, I am an accomplished and independent woman

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Niger’s young workforce grapples with formidable obstacles on the job market, with unemployment and underemployment topping the list of hurdles. Recognising the critical need for alternative avenues, young entrepreneurs are turning to micro and small enterprises to fill the void left by the limited formal employment opportunities and insufficient job creation in the country. Annually, approximately 500 000 determined young individuals in Niger embark on the challenging journey of entering the job market.   
Among these aspirants was Halima.

Halima’s story unfolds after her graduation from the University of Zinder, armed with a degree in agri-food. Frustrated by the unyielding job market, she pivoted towards entrepreneurship, conceptualizing and establishing her venture - Ramo Nature, a small business specializing in milk and juice production.

“After facing countless job rejections, the idea of creating my own business took root,” explains Halima. 

Initially producing bissap, baobab, and tamarind juices, Halima’s entrepreneurial trajectory took a significant turn with the support and training provided by the Program for the Promotion of Rural Entrepreneurship (PROMEL).

PROMEL, an SDC program implemented by Swisscontact Niger, aims to catalyze local entrepreneurship in promising agricultural value chains, generating jobs and sustainable incomes for women (aged 18 and over) and young men (aged 18 to 35) in the Dosso and Maradi regions.

With PROMEL’s backing, Halima not only diversified her product range but also honed her business acumen, expanding into the lucrative market of yogurt made from fresh milk, which quickly became her best-selling product.

"I must admit I feel a certain pride today. Thanks to my business, I employ eight young people, including three women"
shares Halima.

Before the support of PROMEL, Halima’s monthly turnover amounted to a modest 100 000 CFA francs (153 CHF). Today, she proudly reports a substantial increase to over 1 200 000 CFA francs (1 846 CHF). The initial challenges, including mastering entrepreneurship essentials like managing her operating account, navigating relations with suppliers and customers, and optimizing marketing and distribution, were overcome with the invaluable support provided by PROMEL.

“In the beginning, it wasn’t easy, but PROMEL reached out to me and helped me realize my dream,” says Halima, her smile reflecting both gratitude and accomplishment.

Halima’s journey stands as a shining example of how local entrepreneurship, fueled by initiatives like PROMEL, can transform the lives of young people in Niger. Through her small business, she not only achieved personal success and independence but also significantly contributed to job creating and economic growth within her community. Her story serves as an inspiration for other young minds, encouraging them to seize control of their futures through the transformative power of entrepreneurship. 

Labour market insertion, Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Local entrepreneurship promotion programme 
The programme objective is to create jobs and income opportunities for women and youth in rural Niger through the promotion of entrepreneurship and facilitating access to markets. In particular, the empowerment of women is to be promoted. This opens up new opportunities for economic and social development of these two border regions that depend significantly on agriculture and industry.