Business Formalization

Gambia moves towards business formalization

The ILO assists the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) in launching a digital platform on formalization

News | 29 June 2023
On 23 June 2023, the Gambia Chamber of Commerce successfully launched its “Formalize Your Business Platform”, funded under the ILO project " Boosting post-COVID-19 economic recovery and resilience in the Gambia, through the formalization of informal enterprises and their workers”, in an event attended by GCCI members, representatives of other business membership organizations, young entrepreneurs, and government officials.

The Business Formalization Platform, a collaboration between ILO Bureau for Employers Activities ACT/EMP and the ENTERPRISES Department, is a comprehensive system which includes assessments, resources, and tools, and coaching by advisors to entrepreneurs and enterprises. Assessments are used to identify the level of compliance of their businesses as regards formalization in the Gambia and to identify areas of improvement.

Resources and tools are provided to help entrepreneurs understand the legal and financial aspects of formalizing their business. Coaching by GCCI and external partner advisors is available, including through a Whatsapp chat feature to help entrepreneurs understand the process and to provide, if needed, real time guidance and support. As highlighted by Ms Aissata Dé, UNDP Resident Representative, who also attended the event, the Whatsapp chat feature will facilitate use by entrepreneurs that are more conversant in local languages.
During the opening ceremony, speeches were delivered by Ms Sarata Conateh GCCI CEO, Julie Senghor Kazagui, ACT/EMP Senior Specialist for West Africa, and Honourable Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof, Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE), who officially launched the platform recognizing the vital role that formalization plays in driving economic growth, fostering resilience, and unlocking new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The purpose of this innovative Business Formalization platform is to sensitize enterprises and entrepreneurs on the benefits of formalization and to provide access to resources that will facilitate their formalization process. This platform is fully integrated in GCCI portfolio of services. It is indeed articulated with GCCI formalization, business management, and entrepreneurship training offer, using ILO tools such as the Improve Your Business and Formalize Your Business training modules, and advisory services.

“This project aligns perfectly with the National Employment Policy and Action Plan, 2022-2026, which sets forth an ambitious agenda of creating one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) jobs over the next five years. Through the Business Formalization Platform, we take a significant step towards realizing this vision, a Gambia where every citizen can have a decent living and pursue their dreams. Formalizing businesses is not just a legal requirement; it is a catalyst for economic growth, job creation, and empowerment. By providing entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and guidance they need to navigate the complexities of formalization, we open doors to a world of opportunities.” Sarata Conateh, CEO, GCCI