Supporting an enabling social enterprise ecosystem in Senegal

Title Program for the enhancement of the social and green enterprise for innovation, growth and employment (PRO-VIVES)

Location Senegal

Duration 2022- 2025 (36 months)

Project leader Comunità Impegno Servizio Volontariato (CISV)

Partners RETE ONG – Associazione di tecnici per la solidarietà e cooperazione internazionale, LVIA – Associazione Internazionale Volontari Laici, Mercato Circolare, Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca e Cooperazione Tecnico Scientifica con l’Africa (CISAO), Centre d’Appui à la Promotion de l’Entrepreunariat Rural (CAPER sas), Fédération des Associations Paysannes de la région Louga (FAPAL) and ESPERE SENEGAL SARL.

Funding AICS – Agenzia Italiana Cooperazione allo Sviluppo



Senegal has an unemployment rate of 15,7% for men and 22,1 % for women, a rate that rises between 30% and 40% for young people: every year, 120.000 new young people enter the labour market in a context where precarious working conditions are one of the main causes of migration.

Most of Senegalese enterprises have micro, medium or small dimensions and informal features; the agricultural sector has great potential for investment and business development, especially in cereal and horticultural sectors.

However, the dynamism and the entrepreneurial capacity of these enterprises often couple with a lack of management tools, formalisation, networking skills and trust toward public support systems.

The PRO VIVES project aims to contribute to the sustainable and inclusive development in 4 regions of Senegal (Dakar, Thiès, Louga, Saint-Louis) by offering support to rural and urban micro-small-medium sized enterprises through digital innovation, circular economy and social economy approaches.


General objective

The Social Economy Unit has been involved to support the development of an enabling social enterprise ecosystem in Senegal. On the one hand, the researchers are working to facilitate and promote the practice and the methodological tools to assess the performance of social enterprises. On the other, they support the constitution of a “Social Business task force” with key public-private Senegalese stakeholders to advocate for the development of an enabling ecosystem for social enterprises in the country.


Our contribution

The Social Economy Unit will develop an evaluation methodology and a social rating system for social enterprises in Senegal. This methodology and the social rating system will then be applied to a sample of enterprises identified within the project activities. The final aim is to validate the efficacy of the elaborated tools for future implementations and to use the results to advocate for the development of an enabling social enterprise ecosystem with national authorities.

To this end, ARCO will also support the establishment of a ‘Social Business task force’ engaging key public-private stakeholders from the Senegalese social economy sector. The task force will be set up as a working group to deepen the topic of social enterprise in Senegal and the importance of supporting an enabling social enterprise ecosystem, as well as to share and reflect on the progress and outcomes of ARCO’s work during the project lifetime.

Read more on our Social Economy Unit