Skip to main content

How the PLOUTOS project helps building bridges


BRUSSELS -- Edmée is from Senegal and is a student in the business language course of the PLOUTOS project. Beyond caring for her family and two children, she is anchored to her origins and remains close to her community. Children from her village in Senegal can’t afford to go to have good conditions when it comes to their education. That’s why she organised a yearly charity dinner with her neighbours.  

Revenues from that dinner pay school fees for the children, which is not enough. This is why she enrolled in the PLOUTOS project’s business language training. She aims to create a business in Belgium. Her idea is a restaurant specialising in African food. The aim is to support her family and help the children of their village to get a better education.  

Women around the world use microfinance to access finance and start a business, as a vast academic literature about microfinance demonstrates. The same happens in Europe where, according to the last figures of the EMN Survey Report, they account for 43 per cent of borrowers in Europe, whereas in the developing world, they are above 50 per cent.  

Two months ago, the EMN celebrated the role of women in microfinance within MFIs and as borrowers. Stories like Edmée’s highlight the role of microfinance in supporting vulnerable segments of society. The theme of our Annual Conference is ‘Economy for the people, and this story couldn’t highlight this claim better.