Objective of the project

Strengthen the capacities of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in countries of the South 

Areas of intervention

Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras. Peru, South Africa

Project managers

Dominique Owekisa
Carla Palomares

Key figures

iinitiatives launched in 2018 and 7 in 2019


ADA supports Senegalese entrepreneurs

Why is it important to support entrepreneurship in Africa?

Discover the answer in videos! 

Read more


ADA supports the development of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Southern countries

ADA has initiated several projects to ensure the development and sustainable growth of MSEs by setting up both financial and non-financial services to fill this financial gap.

fond mpe

Small businesses are in need of finance

MSEs – Micro and Small Enterprises – have substantial potential in terms of employment. When referring to small business owners, we mean young people from the primary sector (agriculture, fishing and traditional crafts etc.) who need finance to the tune of between €10,000 and €100,000. Banks may finance big companies and MFIs, but small and micro enterprises are often neglected, particularly because of the risk entailed. They are known as the "missing link". ADA has launched a specific programme to fill the finance gap and facilitate their access to the market.

ADA supports the enterprises of the circular economy in Salvador 

On July 2, 2019, the 4 finalists of the circular economy incubation program of the Yawal partner have been selected

Since 2019, ADA has supported the firm INSERT and its social enterprise incubation program, Yawal, to accompany the entrepreneurs of the circular economy sector of Salvador. Thus after a round of proposals, 10 enterprises have been selected among more than 92 applications received. Those enterprises lead by young individuals between the ages of 28 and 32 years, have benefitted from a program of pre-incubation lasting one month in order to refine their models and business plans. At the end of this process, the candidates presented their pitches to a selection jury. As such, on Tuesday 2nd July 2019, the 4 best proposals were selected. These entrepreneurs will benefit from an incubation programme of two months and receive 2500 USD funding in order to develop the prototypes of their products:

  • Moon Glass – Fabrication of household products and decoration from recycles glass ;
  • Woodsol – Making of shoes from biodegradable and recycled materials
  • Complementos de Descanso – Manufacturing of pillows from the production leftovers of mattresses ;
  • Coco Canela – Manufacturing of shoes made by hand from old clothes.

In parallel, ADA supports Yawal in the creation of an investor’s club composed of Business Angels derived from the industrial sector, interested by the circular economy’s development in the country. They have participated in the selection process of projects. At the end of the incubation process, they will evaluate their funding. Thanks to this first experience, the investor’s club will then be able to utilise Yawal’s work to identify and reinforce the potential enterprises in which to invest.

What is the circular economy?

Since the beginning of the first industrial revolution, humanity has consolidated its economic and social development based on a linear consumption system: extracting raw materials, producing goods, consuming these goods and generating waste. Two hundred years later, the limits of this model, which indiscriminately exploits the planet's limited resources by polluting the environment and generating an unimaginable amount of waste, seem to have been reached. Indeed, a system of linear production and consumption cannot be applied indefinitely, in particular in a society in which the life spam of produced goods is decreasing ever more rapidly, generating high consumption rates, consequently high production rates.

The circular economy, a rational alternative to the linear model, aims to:

  • maintaining the utilisation value of a product along multiple life cycles;
  • recuperating and reutilising pieces of products that initially don’t have a utilisation value;
  • and minimising the total loss of value – when the good is considered to be a waste

Source: Marcelo Lezzi, Économie circulaire, 2017

Multiple strategies are possible to reach those objectives but it is necessary to take into account the way in which a product’s value is affected. Hence, different cycles are possible: 


For example, a company may choose to repair objects intended for disposal, in order to reintroduce them to the market for reuse. By doing this, it recovers up to 50% of the value of the initial product. Others may decide to recover only a few parts of the original property, thus recovering up to 30% of the original value. This is particularly applicable in the electronic equipment sector, where some companies have specialised in the recovery of precious minerals used in their manufacture. Finally, companies can choose to recover waste from the production of goods through recycling, thus recovering about 1% of the value of the initial good. However, recycling should not be underestimated, as it allows a significant reduction in the extraction of raw materials and significant energy savings. Thus, recycling 3 glass bottles saves the equivalent that would have been necessary to keep a low-energy light bulb on for 8 days or charge a mobile phone 318 times (


"About heels, dreams and bottles"

The 4 finalists of the meeting on circular economy organised by INSERT/Yawal in El Salvador and co-financed by ADA complete the prototyping phase.

Read more

ADA partnering innovative initiatives in Senegal

After a prospecting trip to Senegal for identifying innovative initiatives to boost SMEs, ADA set up four pilot projects there in 2018, with:
- two incubators specialising in support for entrepreneurship (CTIC Dakar and Jokkolabs)
- an online sales platform for agricultural products / market catalyst (Soreetul)
- and a syndicated investment fund created by women for women (WIC Sénégal – Women’s Investment Club).
Other potential partners have been identified in Mali, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Business support initiatives are in view for both regions in 2019.

home ctic

CTIC supports start-ups specialised in E-health, E-tourism and FinTech

ADA and CTIC have signed a six-month partnership agreement (July 2017 - December 2018), which aims to support selected startups with projects in the areas of E-Health, E-tourism and Fintech while allowing them to test and to validate their business model.
Ultimately, the program aims to allow the marketing of services and / or products for the development of the health sector, tourism and digital finance.

About CTIC
CTIC Dakar, is an incubator of ICT companies that offers support on various aspects to ICT entrepreneurs whose projects are innovative and have high added value. In this sense, this support aims to improve the quality as well as the technical and financial viability of the projects, in order to reinforce the capacities of the entrepreneurs, to favour their growth and to participate in the reduction of the national unemployment rate.


Jokkolabs, an incubator for young entrepreneurs

ADA financed the launch of a "Jokkofood" competition run by Jokkolabs in Senegal. It was the first competition of its kind in the country on food processing for local products. Eight winners were selected to take part in a six-week boot camp and perfect their project, delivering a 5-minute pitch to a jury at the end. The three finalists went away with a cheque for starting their business.


"Jokkolabs is an initiative launched over 8 years ago. Opening in 2010, the first hub is the number one space for business innovation in Africa. "Jokko" means link or connection in the Wolof language. In addition to stimulating creativity, Jokkolabs promotes collaboration between development stakeholders that aren't communicating, but operating in silo mode, such as NGOs, development agencies and banks and entrepreneurs etc. We provide small businesses with an infrastructure and a team to help them to grow. Alongside our partiality for digital solutions and technology, we are also open to other projects such as agriculture and processing local products, as with the Jokkofood competition where we had support from ADA."
Karym SY, Founder and Director of Jokkolabs


Soreetul, online business platform

Created in 2014, Soreetul is an e-commerce platform for agrifood and cosmetic products designed to bring rural products to the urban market. It allows Senegalese women living in rural areas and processing primary materials to gain access to the market. In 2018, ADA worked with Soreetul on a pilot project aimed at bringing fishing products to the platform. 4 economic interest groups (EIG) including over 1,000 women producers have been selected to date. Sooretul means "It's no further" in the Wolof language.



WIC Senegal, the investment fund to strengthen women's entrepreneurship

WIC (Women’s Investment Club – Senegal) and ADA have partnered as part of the establishment of the first union fund created by and for women in the WAEMU (West African economic and monetary union) area

The Investment fund WIC targets businesses directed by women in Senegal, with the goal of participating in the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs by providing the capital they need to grow their businesses.

In June 2018, ADA worked alongside WIC to push reflection on social impact measurement tools and on improvements to the regulatory framework to facilitate the emergence of innovative financial vehicles. Finally, this collaboration will promote the mobilisation of capital at a local level in favour of investments in the Senegalese economy at first, followed by the West-African region. To this end, ADA co-financed the initiative to the tune of €30,000 to assist with the creation of this kind of finance mechanism. By the end of 2018, the WIC raised over a million and a half Euros (1 billion CFA francs), which will be invested from 2019 through its new finance structure, WIC Capital.

madji"In French-speaking Western Africa, we still do not have access to all of the innovations in financial products. We must dare these innovations and approaches which are leaving our realities. By highlighting these innovations we can change the regulatory framework.”
Madji Sock, President of WIC, Senegal



“The vision of WIC is interesting and we were impressed by the actions already carried out on the basis of their own funds. ADA wishes to support the development of entrepreneurship in Senegal through partners who present a vision and a clear methodology based on a viable business model, and WIC is one of them.”
Axel de Ville, Consultant for ADA, Luxembourg


"The WIC is a women's initiative for women with the aim of strengthening women's entrepreneurship and promoting women's access to finance. In concrete terms, WIC offers a financial service, through the collection of savings to be used for projects managed by women, as well as a non-financial service, through technical assistance, capacity building, coaching and mentoring."
Thiaba Camara Sy, Co-founder of WIC, Senegal


About WIC

The WIC aims to strengthen the presence of women in financial markets as well as to improve access to financing and technical help to women entrepreneurs with promising projects. Since its creation in 2016, the club has 78 women with a collective investment capital invested in the Regional Stock Exchange. The club held a large number of activities to improve the understanding of the financial market by its members as well as to identify and support women entrepreneurs in Senegal. WIC intends to broaden its impact in the female entrepreneurial ecosystem by forming partnerships with organisations such as ADA whose core business is the innovative deployment of financial capital for a social impact widely felt by the population.


WIC partners and members at a meeting on the mechanisms to be
put in place to promote women’s entrepreneurship on March 8, 2018.

WIC Contact: Francine Ndong – Manager
Telephone: +221 33 869 64 54 / +221 76 639 00 70


ADA strengthens the capacities of MSEs

ADA has launched a specific programme to build capacity and meet the needs of micro and small enterprises and facilitate their access to the market. As part of this new program, ADA initially initiated two projects that include both financial and non-financial services in partnership with microfinance institutions. 

In Peru, ADA supports the Prisma Savings and Credit Cooperative (COOPAC Prisma) and the NGO Prisma to build the capacity of cocoa producers in the San Martin region of Peru. 

In South Africa, ADA supports the MFI SEF (Small Enterprise Foundation) in a programme to strengthen the skills of women entrepreneurs in the Limpopo region.


ADA and PRISMA are relaunching an ancient system to improve cocoa production in Peru

ADA and its partners PRISMA launched a project to boost the cocoa value chain in San Martin in Peru. To do so, they used an ancestral concept called Chova Chova.

Read more


ADA, member of the ANDE network


In 2016, ADA became a member of the ANDE network (Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs), a global network of organizations working to promote entrepreneurship in emerging countries. By supporting the development of the inclusive finance sector, ADA is an integral part of the actors contributing to the emergence of a favourable environment for micro and small entrepreneurs. Since its accession, ADA has exchanged experiences and established partnerships with other affiliated institutions in Central America and Africa.




"ADA works to capitalise its experience with our microfinance partners in funding the youth (entrepreneurs). We wish to go further and are currently exploring innovative solutions for the funding of small enterprises experiencing strong growth driven by this youth in order to make them autonomous and viable."
Dominique Owekisa, ADA project manager and member of the Steering Committee of ANDE West Africa



DA at FLII for the 2nd year

Once again, ADA is sponsoring the FLII - Latin American Forum on Impact Investment in Central America and the Caribbean - which was held on 13 and 14 November in Antigua (Guatemala). The FLII is a key conference in the region's ecosystem.

ADA's activities: projects and a study
The FLII was a great success with more than 600 participants! Among them, investors, cooperation agencies, financial institutions, incubators/accelerators, and especially entrepreneurs who came to seek financing but also to learn from other success stories and the latest market trends.

The session « Inversión de impacto en cooperativas y empresas agrícolas », presented by Carla Palomares (ADA), presented the progress of the YES Funding Initiative, launched by ADA one year ago at FLII 2018. One year later, the model is mature and will begin to be tested in 2020 in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Carla presented YES as an innovative opportunity to finance small entrepreneurs working in the agricultural sector (processing, marketing, production improvement) who are not necessarily cooperatives.

In addition, Mathilde Bauwin (ADA), led the workshop « Mejorar la salud financiera de los microempresarios: desafios y soluciones », in which she presented the results of the study on the financial health of microentrepreneurs carried out in collaboration with the European Microfinance Network with funding from the JP Morgan Foundation. The study covered 4 countries of the South: Mexico, Brazil, Peru and South Africa. Total success with 70 participants, the majority of whom were entrepreneurs. All recognized themselves in the results of the study and enthusiastically participated in the activity proposed in the workshop to identify their main financial health challenges.

But also other activities co-financed by ADA
Thanks to ADA co-funding, a workshop on benchmarking has been facilitated by the ANDE network, and then ADA took part in the meeting of ANDE members in the region with its Executive Director, Randall Kempner.

As part of its circular economy project in El Salvador, ADA also funded the participation of the 2 candidates selected for the incubation program, so that they could meet potential investors.

Finally, ADA co-financed the participation of the director of ImpactHub Managua with 2 entrepreneurs from Nicaragua, so that they could meet investors and work together with ADA on the YES Funding Initiative 2020 action plan in Nicaragua. They met with a large number of stakeholders in the sector in the region.

More information on FLII


  • flii
  • flii
  • flii
  • flii
  • flii
  • flii
  • flii
  • flii
  • flii
  • flii
  • flii
  • flii


ADA at the Global Entrepeneurship Week 2018 in Senegal



During the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Senegal, to be held from 12 to 17 November 2017 throughout the country, ADA will participate in numerous events aimed at promoting innovation, creation and development of viable businesses. 

  • On November 14, ADA will hold an Action Lab that brings investors and entrepreneurs together.
  • On 15 November, during the Forum on crowdfunding, ADA will participate in a panel on financial mechanisms for SMEs.
  • On 16 November, the final of the national competition (Jokkofood) launched by Jokkolabs, in partnership with ADA, will take place for young graduates in the agri-food sector. The 8 entrepreneurs with the most innovative projects for the production of healthy and local food will participate in a 2-week bootcamp starting at the end of October 2018. The 3 winners of the competition selected by a jury, including ADA, will receive a prize and 4 months of coaching to make their project a reality. 

Thanks to a better articulation between the structures accompanying entrepreneurs and financiers, a sustainable impact on local ecosystems is expected. 

More information on the event website:



ADA brings together stakeholders to develop a new co-investment model at the Latin American Impact Investment Forum (FLII) in Guatemala 

November 8, 2018

  • post-general
  • ada2
  • ada4

On November 8, 2018, ADA led an action lab on the theme "Changing the Game: New Investment Models for Emerging Companies", as part of the IV Latin American Forum on Impact Investment in Central America and the Caribbean (FLII), organized by Alterna in Antigua, Guatemala. More than 60 participants attended, including investors, entrepreneurs, accelerators and support institutions interested in the financing model for small emerging enterprises.

The session presented by ADA aimed to present a new model that brings together investors and other stakeholders seeking a high social impact, along with a financial return. At the end of the session, more than 55 institutions declared their interest in keeping informed or participating in the pilot of this new mechanism in Central America.

In order to better meet the financial needs of emerging companies, investment models must promote the growth and sustainable management of these companies. Market uncertainties and limited growth capacity lead to a perception of high risk for these small companies, which prevents them from accessing the capital necessary for their development. One approach to serve this segment is to develop a gradual investment model, which offers small businesses investments of between USD 10,000 and USD 100,000. Through a combination of market access, technical support and a co-investment approach, it becomes possible to significantly reduce barriers to financing for small businesses, thereby unlocking their growth potential.

Rethinking Central America and the Caribbean through 4 themes
This year, the FLII brought together more than 600 participants from 35 countries to re-imagine the region - which is at the forefront of social innovation by generating a global impact - through 4 major pillars:
1. Investment: discussions focused, among other topics, on possible solutions to solve the missing middle financing problem and how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDOs). Similarly, there were several panels to guide social entrepreneurs in the search for funding.
2. Innovation: stakeholders considered the best ways to adapt to the future, taking into account new technologies, business models and trends such as sustainable agriculture. 
3. Inclusive impact: participants explored opportunities for the inclusion of women, youth and the bottom of the pyramid through the establishment of spaces and tools in the ecosystem. 
4. Ecosystem: aware of the impact of companies on the environment, participants discussed collaborations to generate sustainable and prosperous change, increase environmental awareness and improve the use of natural resources in the region.

More information on the event: