Thirty-one year old Oumar Ba began his business career the hard way, selling plastic bags for 2 cents each to shoppers in the open air market. He soon courageously followed his passion for cooking, placed two tables on the sidewalk and began to offer a simple meal to the public. But that was not enough!

Taking out his first micro loan made it possible to expand his business, opening a restaurant with 5 tables, this time inside! Oumar offers a soup of the day, fried fish or chicken, Moroccan couscous, vermicelli, and local dishes called yassa and theibou djinn.

Oumar’s business is doing so well that he has secured a location for a second restaurant in a different neighborhood. He has also purchased a plot of land in the countryside where he will raise his own chickens, a vertical business expansion that will substantially increase his profit margins.

Oumar hired and trained an assistant chef, Mouhamed Fall, shown above, and already has his eyes on a young man to manage his chicken farm. Supporting ambitious and capable young entrepreneurs like Oumar has a compounding effect on the community, as they hire and train others to help in their businesses.

Oumar’s income has increased from 98,000 CFA ($150 US) to 150,000 CFA ($230 US) per month, an increase of 53%, which he sees as just the beginning of what he will achieve. Oumar is married, but postponing having children until he can be assured of providing them with the best education possible!

Oumar’s energy, intelligence, and determination will undoubtedly take him far toward realizing his goal of being a successful restauranteur and businessman. Friends of Senegal is very happy to play a role in the realization of Oumar’s dreams.

Oumar, left, and Ndaraw Diop, the Director of the Friends of Senegal microfinance program, celebrate Oumar’s success as a restauranteur.

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