The ILO is providing support to business development structures in Senegal to facilitate the transition to formality through the training programme "Formalize Your Business" (FYB).

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) organized a training workshop for trainers on the module "Formalize Your Business" from 21 to 25 March 2022. This activity, carried out within the framework of the project for the promotion of formal and innovative entrepreneurship in Senegal and Gambia (PROMEFI), was financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and executed by the ILO.

Strengthening the support system for SMEs in Senegal through a memorandum of understanding

The objective of the FYB training is to strengthen the portfolio of services of support structures for small and medium enterprises, through the training of 20 trainers from organisations such as the Agency for the Development and Support of Small and Medium Enterprises (ADEPME), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Dakar (CCIAD), the Centre de Gestion Agréé du Sénégal (CGA), the Agence Nationale pour la promotion de l'emploi des jeunes (ANPEJ), the Conseil des Entreprises du Sénégal (CDES) and the Union Nationale des Commerçants et Industriels (UNACOIS). To better ensure the sustainability of the training tool and a better ownership by the national partners, the ILO has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ADEPME. The latter, which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Trade and SMEs, is the public institution in charge of supporting SMEs. This strategic partnership will allow other SME support structures to deploy the training and to apply a similar approach in the process of accompanying the transition to formalization of targeted economic units. "This training and the partnership with the ILO is absolutely essential because it provides an important training programme "Formalize Your Business". The training synthesizes relevant mechanisms and support that is available in a single tool to be able to formalize enterprises and the workers them employ. It further adds to the objective of the Head of State to structurally transform the economy and to deploy a strategy for the transformation of the informal sector ", adds Mr. Idrissa DIABIRA, the Director General of ADEPME.

Trainers equipped to better accompany entrepreneurs

Trainers play a key role in the implementation of this program. Indeed, they are directly responsible for the training of entrepreneurs - from the assessment of training needs to the support for post-training follow-up - independently and in accordance with the quality standards of the Formalize Your Business training. This ensures that the program meets the expectations of the beneficiaries. "Each of you must understand that you are the centre for the implementation of this training program. I therefore urge you to take ownership of it and ensure its use in accordance with the methodology that was taught to you during these five days of seminar. From now on, you will be the core of the dissemination of the FYB training to all economic actors who want to formalize their business" said Mr. Dramane HAIDARA, Director of the ILO Office in Dakar. The trainers understood the stakes and emphasized the importance of this training. For Mrs. Fatou Leye THIAM, spokesperson for the training recipients, "during these 5 days of training, all the points related to formalization were discussed in a constructive and very friendly atmosphere. We were impressed by the methodology and pedagogy applied. After this workshop, our priority will be to organize trainings for end beneficiaries. The FYB training module came at the right time, it is the tool that was missing in our SME support system".

Next steps

From May 2022, the PROMEFI project, in collaboration with the strategic partner ADEPME, will accompany trainers in the organization of training sessions for entrepreneurs. This is part of the certification scheme for trainers, but especially for the dissemination of the FYB module. The second session of training of trainers is planned to start in August 2022 and will target structures across various regions for a better inclusion and decentralization of the training tool.

What is "Formalize Your Business"?

Formalize Your Business is a training program designed to support the transition of informal economic units to the formal economy. It aims to sensitize entrepreneurs, both men and women, on the importance of formalization, how to achieve it in their country and how to meet the challenges of formalizing micro and small enterprises. It also educates participants on why and how to comply with existing laws as a formalized business. Visit the website for more information.