Client Stories

Making a name for himself in retail

For more than eight years, Matar has been selling shoes at the Rufisque central market in Senegal.


Matar began his business with a personal investment of only 350,000 CFA Francs (€539 Euros), which allowed him to buy his very first stock of goods. In 2016, Matar learned about Baobab through a friend: “I discovered Baobab thanks to a friend who had obtained a loan under very good terms.” Matar also received a positive response when he applied for his first loan, and he was able to finance his stock of goods to satisfy his increasingly demanding customers. In just a few months, Matar made a name for himself not only in Rufisque market but also in his business sector. “Since I began working with Baobab, my business has taken a positive turn,” he explains proudly.

In 2020, the pandemic created business difficulties for Matar with a series of curfew measures that considerably reduced his sales. Given the context, Matar was offered a deferral of his repayments, but he decided to continue paying off his loans. He is thankful for the initiative and says, “Baobab stands out from other microfinance institutions due to its speed, flexibility and above all its unwavering support.”

Today, business has picked up again. Matar’s goal is to open a second store and to expand to also sell clothes and accessories. He plans to travel to China to meet his suppliers and is even thinking about launching into the wholesale business. For his future projects, he is again counting on Baobab’s support: “I’m grateful to the Baobab teams for their support and the confidence they have always had in my projects. I hope to continue working with them for as long as possible!

About Baobab Senegal

Baobab Senegal, a deposit-taking Microfinance Institution (MFI) founded in 2007, works to provide straightforward and accessible services that help underserved clients tap into their full entrepreneurial potential, regardless of financial status. Products include loans, savings and insurance, and target customers are both very small entrepreneurs who need micro-credit and SMEs in need of bigger loans.

Baobab Senegal also offers insurance, providing a safety net for borrowers and their families in the event of death or disability, and a savings product allowing customers to save little-by-little for important expenses and have a safe place to store their earnings.

Abler Nordic first invested equity in Baobab Senegal in 2012, supporting the Company through a strong growth phase. Since 2012, Baobab Senegal’s Gross Loan Portfolio has almost quintupled, and they have more than doubled the number of borrowers and depositors.

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