Building Inclusive Business Ecosystem for Stabilization and Transformation Project

The Mano River Union Secretariat with funds from the Transition Support Facility of the African Development Bank (AfDB) is implementing the project to Build Inclusive Business Ecosystems for Stabilization and Transformation (BI-BEST) in the Mano River Union. The BI-BEST project is aimed at creating favourable conditions for inclusive markets with key focus on gender equality, entrepreneurship development and resilience/cohesion. The overall objective of the project is to empower Women Traders involved in cross border trade between Liberia and Sierra-Leone in three selected value chains (Palm Oil, Cassava, and Vegetables) for resilient economic growth and social cohesion.

The BI-BEST project is expected to benefit at least 1,500 women traders at two border points (Koindu-Foya and Jendema-Bo Waterside). Project beneficiaries are expected to receive increased awareness on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Reporting Mechanism among women involved with cross border trade. The project will also build capacity, and endeavour to increase access to finance to more profitable market opportunities.

close up of an african woman selling food stuff in a local african market holding a mobile point of sale device collecting a credit card from a customer

At the end of the project, it is expected:

  • that at least 1,200 women cross border traders generate more income from higher quality jobs and contribute to better lives for younger generations.
  • a 10% increase in new women’s businesses formalization in the two countries; and
  • a 25% increase of favourable perception of cross-border trade as a safe and profitable business with mechanisms in place to address Gender-Based Violence for cross border women traders in the two project communities- Koindu/Foya and Jendema/Bo-Waterside.