This case study examines the IFAD-supported Rural Youth Vocational Training, Employment and Entrepreneurship Support Project (FIER) in Mali and its partnership with France’s ABC Microfinance social enterprise, owner of the Babyloan crowdfunding platform. Through crowdfunding, Babyloan provides low-interest refinancing solutions to microfinance institutions in 22 countries spread across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, which enables it to provide cheaper capital to local microentrepreneurs. Babyloan and FIER have implemented a pilot in Mali to test the crowdfunding model as a potential means of leveraging diaspora remittances for raising complementary funding to support rural entrepreneurship in the home country. The study reviews this innovative approach in the Malian context and analyses how Babyloan has adjusted its crowdfunding model to respond to the diverse needs and concerns of stakeholders: the Malian diaspora in France; and partner microfinance institutions (PMFIs) and rural microentrepreneurs in Mali.
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