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Entrepreneurship and financial inclusion

The vision of the program is to stimulate the empowerment and job creation of youth and women through innovative entrepreneurship and trades training.

Our Mission

The program's mission is to build the capacity of youth and women in rural entrepreneurship, vocational training and access to credit with small loans for their economic promotion.

Challenges to be redressed

The economic empowerment of women and young people is a pledge in the fight against poverty. Both groups have difficult access to sustainable jobs and credit, especially in rural communities. In particular, young people suffer from unemployment due to of entrepreneurship skills, skills mismatch between the employer’s expectation and the youth, preference of employing experienced workers, poor education curriculum. Compared to adults, young people are three times as likely to be unemployed.


Priorities of the program

Priority 1:

Priority 2

Priority 3.

Strengthen the capacity of rural youth and women in entrepreneurship and financial education

The sessions of training and development on entrepreneurship and financial education  encompass a wide range of topics including:

  • Process of creation and development of small business, cooperative or business,
  • Governance and leadership, financial and accounting management, economic or business plan development,
  • Negotiation skills for new markets, innovation and entrepreneurship development,
  • Gender mainstreaming and conflict management

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Contribute to create and enhance cooperatives

The cooperatives are farms, businesses or other organizations, owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits. Cooperatives can offer significant benefits to their members through the principle of strength in numbers and pooled resources, including increased bargaining power ; reduced costs through economies of scale; the ability to obtain goods or services. By pooling resources together in and keeping strong links to their local environments, cooperative members stand to benefit significantly from joining a cooperative. Joint decision-making also encourages democratic and transparent values, as well as a self-reliance and belief in self-efficacy amongst members, regardless of their financial situation. The program focusing   more on the cooperatives farmers and professionals in rural areas.

Facilitate access to low interest rate credit for women and young entrepreneurs through the creation of a micro-finance system


The lack of access to credit financing small business is a serious impediment to reduce extreme poverty in rural economies where the majority of women and young people live. Their main activity is agriculture. They are often excluded from the financial and commercial banks. They find themselves without collaterals required to have access to credits. The collateral requirements are not adapted to the poverty conditions of the major youth and women in Burundi.

Strategic axes of the Program

Support and creation

Support and creation of associations and pre-cooperatives of young people and women with entrepreneurial vocation for agricultural development and food security. Agricultural entrepreneurship for Burundian youth and women implies the creation of jobs through which producers are supported in all phases of development of the agricultural and animal chain. Young agronomists or economists are recruited and trained to accompany the producers.


Professional training of young women and men in the trades. ERB initiates vocational training activities on sewing, mechanics, beekeeping, fruit processing into commercial juice, welding for the benefit of young people and women

Financial inclusion

Financial inclusion in rural areas through the community savings and credit system, which is based on contributions from members of a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA). ERB wants to create a micro finance to support young entrepreneurs who invest in agricultural production and transformation, trades such as sewing, mechanics, beekeeping, hotel and restaurant, ITC


Approaches of the Program

1. The GERME

2. The VSLA

The GERME approach guide "GERER MIEUX VOTRE ENTREPRISE" is already used by ERB in the implementation of entrepreneurial development projects for 1500 young people and women. It was initiated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as a tool for creating and strengthening the activities of actors involved in the development of microenterprises (small and medium enterprises). This approach consists of training/coaching entrepreneurs from the choice of business ideas, the development of a bankable business plan and the expansion plan of these enterprises. It applies to already established microenterprises where, after analysis of their SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), strategic solutions or advice are provided to the entrepreneurs. In addition to this, the GERME approach assists in the creation of new microenterprises and provides capacity building for microenterprise promoters. This approach takes up and reinforces the understanding of the themes of the business plan : marketing, budgeting, accounting, planning, and managing both material and human resources.

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This approach is used both in Program of Entrepreneurship& Financial inclusion and in Program of Food Security and Nutrition.

It is used to strengthen the capacity of members of cooperatives and associations in financial education and savings, the VSLA approach combined with S4T is being used by ERB.  At least 860 Community Savings and Credit Groups have already been created since 2017 in the provinces of Karuzi, Bubanza, Cibitoke and Bujumbura Rural with funding from EU/FAO, GEF, GIZ, OXFAM NOVIB.

The VSLA approach helps members of associations or cooperatives to strengthen the financial autonomy of their households, this approach is also used to include the gender aspect. Indeed, the VSLA approach aims to promote women's participation in decision-making on household resource management, through discussions within the couple but also through joint entrepreneurial activities, which contribute to creation. S4T complements the Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA) approach by its flexibility in the size of the savings group (10-30 members) and its insistence on each member setting a one-year vision. In addition, S4T uses the electronic system (MIS SAVIX) for monitoring and reporting savings group data

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