Youth and Female Entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso

Ouagadougou English CFA

Entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso

We contributed to the entrepreneurship and employment development of youth and women in Burkina Faso by supporting the Netherlands Diplomatic Post in Ouagadougou and the Netherlands Embassy in Mali in finding a strong consortium able to run a multi-year entrepreneurship program.

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The Numbers

Stats & Progress

We like to keep track of our progress and overal impact:


Proposals Reviewed




Entrepreneurs Envisioned to Support


The Main Activities

The Challenge

The Netherlands government aimed to financially support a consortium of parties that understood the main problem to be the struggle for youth and women in Burkina Faso to find decent work and start businesses that provide sustainable income. There are opportunities in a variety of sectors, from agriculture to technology, but these often remained underdeveloped. Their ideal program consisted of an 1) awareness raising component, 2) access to finance opportunities and 3) training and mentoring support.

The Change

Crosswise Works started with a broad scope on “female and youth entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso” to identify the multi-faceted opportunities and hurdles for these distinct target groups as well as understand the interests and capacity of the (Dutch and international) stakeholders in the Burkinabe ecosystem. By building this understanding and testing our initial assumptions and ideas in the market, we were able to construct a realistic, but ambitious Terms of Reference which formed the basis to identify and build a strong, multi-faceted potential consortium. The quality of this consortium, in being both creative and pragmatic, innovative and realistic, considering both short- and long-term interventions, determined the success of the program to be implemented and the impact on young and female entrepreneurs. Following a thorough selection process we supported the consortium in developing a multi-annual program document and set a solid base for program implementation.

The Partnership

Our local consultant Frédéric Nébila Bationo, an expert in feasibility, impact and value chain studies in West-Africa, based in Burkina Faso. As a consultant he has over 9 years of experience as development project coordinator as well as leading rural support organizations in Burkina, Togo, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Mali. In his previous work he has taken on the role of expert partner or expert in formulation and evaluation of projects related to agricultural value chains in the West African sub-region.

The Result

The winning consortium is led by Tanager International, with partners: La Fabrique, Mediaprod and Wakatlab. Cultivons L’esprit D’entreprise will work with media partners and funding partners to promote and support entrepreneurial opportunities in Burkina Faso through a three-pronged approach. Beginning with a significant media push to educate over 500,000 male and female youth on the importance of entrepreneurialism, CLE will create a funnel for engagement. The next phase of the project will choose 400 young men and 600 young women to further develop their ideas. In the final phase, 10 men and 15 women will be chosen to be given direct support for their business ideas.

Bas crosswise1092
Responsible Impact Manager


For more information about our help to build and support winning consortia in entrepreneurship development, please contact Bas, who will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

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