Fund for Young Entrepreneurs


The Foundation works through its Fund for Young Entrepreneurs to support young people whose innovative projects and ideas have the potential to pave the way for self-sufficiency among smallholder farmers, and move agriculture toward more sustainable practices.

The fund at work in India

Harvest Wild helps rural women organize into soapnut producer groups. Soapnut trees – whose fruits have effective cleansing properties – are widespread throughout most of India, and grow without the need for any agricultural input. As demand for natural laundry detergents grows in developed countries, a market with significant growth potential, there is an opportunity for Indian soapnut producers to meet this demand and generate additional income for local communities, especially women. Planting soapnut trees on the periphery of farms and degraded land also encourages the adoption of agroforestry models that help improve soil quality.

The project’s 241 beneficiaries harvested almost 16,000kg of soapnuts over 2016 and 2017, leading to an additional income of €62 per person. 

The fund at work in Senegal

Sen Women Up develops processing activities to support female entrepreneurship in fonio, a traditional and healthy cereal, while offering fair trade opportunities in Senegal and France. The project engages a cooperative of 10 women in one of Senegal’s poorest regions, by building a mechanized fonio processing plant which will multiply productivity gains and increase demand for raw cereal from smallholder farmers. It also encourages greater consumption of fonio by the local population, to effectively fight malnutrition and improve food security.

The project resulted in the creation of a company selling own-branded fonio – with 3000 kg sold in 2018 - and in the creation of one full-time job and 10 seasonal jobs. Ten women received social insurance thanks to the project, and each year, two scholarships are granted to encourage daughters of beneficiaries to pursue their studies. The construction of a modern factory also began in 2018. 

The Fund at work in Nigeria

The fund support action to improve income generation and food security in Nigeria, by creating the conditions for rural development and the empowerment of women and local youth. The initiative focuses on the promotion of sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship training, to give participants the relevant skills to start their own agricultural enterprises. 

150 women and youths directly were supported to start their own organic farms and off-farm village enterprises, while over 10,000 fruit trees were planted by trainees to mitigate the impact of climate change. In light of the positive impacts of the project in its first year, the Foundation decided to continue supporting this project on a standalone basis in 2018.