Moussa Kane

Ashoka Fellow
Bamako, Mali
Fellow Since 1998


This profile was prepared when Moussa Kane was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1998.
The New Idea
Moussa Kane has begun to organize Mali's informal economy into a formal association that compiles data on the informal sector and provides basic services to impoverished entrepreneurs. The association provides startup equipment and in-kind loans to entrepreneurs and offers business and financial training to help small ventures succeed. His organization is the first company of its kind in Mali to be owned by its due-paying members, and it is financed and run entirely by members of the informal sector. Its services will be accessible to the approximately 40 percent of Mali's population involved in the informal sector.
Other attempts to organize the informal sector have been top-down projects initiated by the government, multilateral donors, and economists. All have been structured so that the government reaps the obvious benefits. There has never been a system of incentives for members of the informal sector, nor has there been any thought of including them in plans for their organization. Moussa's experiences as a member of the informal sector will help him successfully organize his peers and eventually spread his network of support across West Africa.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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