Under the Jobs, Skills, and Finance (JSF) programme in The Gambia, funded by the European Union (EU), UNCDF in The Gambia, through a partnership with Thundafund, a crowdfunding platform, has introduced ground-breaking financial opportunities for Gambian youth and women. The fruitful partnership has trained over 5,000 businesses through crowdfunding, worked with 39 local partners, and supported 3,000 projects through donations, rewards, and investment crowdfunding in The Gambia.
“Through an integrated approach tailored to the country’s context, the project is enabling youth and women-led MSMEs to access finance from friends, family, and investors – within the country and abroad. By pooling funds in a formal structure, the platform is also building financial history that enables Financial Service Providers (FSPs) to better engage these entrepreneurs” - Muhammed Ali Akram, Digital Finance Technical Specialist.
To tackle obstacles for MSMEs to overcome financing challenges limiting their small-scale businesses, the project with Thundafund has generated numerous findings and lessons learned. This case study:
Explores the trials and tribulations of using innovative financing mechanisms as a development tool in The Gambia
Investigates insights from market research, entry, expansion, and future projections associated with launching a crowdfunding platform in the country
Brings together some of the early lessons from the project; and
Indicates the substantial impact crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending mechanics can create to help Gambian MSMEs overcome financing obstacles.