Fostering Impactful Partnerships: A Conversation on Philanthropy and Local Entrepreneurship

Raby Gueye
2 min readFeb 17, 2024

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I recently had the privilege of engaging in a meaningful conversation with a potential funder who shared a refreshing perspective on philanthropy and supporting local entrepreneurs. Unlike many traditional donors who prioritize key performance indicators (KPIs) and scalability, this individual was solely focused on the impact of the work being done and how they could offer genuine support. It was a breath of fresh air, and it left me reflecting on the transformative power of collaborative partnerships rooted in a shared commitment to making a difference.

During our conversation, it quickly became evident that this potential funder approached philanthropy with a different mindset. Rather than being solely concerned with metrics and numbers, they emphasized the importance of understanding the real-world impact of the work being undertaken by local entrepreneurs. They recognized that true change often occurs on a smaller scale, within communities, and their goal was to support initiatives that made a tangible difference in people’s lives.

What struck me most about our conversation was the emphasis on impact over scale. While scalability is often seen as a hallmark of success in the philanthropic world, this individual understood that meaningful change doesn’t always require widespread reach. Instead, they were interested in supporting initiatives that addressed pressing local needs and had a direct, measurable impact on the communities they served.

Our discussion underscored the importance of fostering collaborative partnerships between philanthropists and local entrepreneurs. By working together, we can leverage our respective strengths and resources to amplify impact and drive positive change. This approach prioritizes mutual respect, trust, and a shared commitment to making a difference, rather than a transactional “bang for your buck” mentality.

As I reflect on our conversation, I am filled with hope for the future of philanthropy and social entrepreneurship in Senegal. By embracing a mindset focused on impact and collaboration, we have the potential to unlock new possibilities and create lasting change in our communities. I am inspired by the vision of this potential funder and hopeful that more donors and foundations will adopt a similar approach, prioritizing the well-being of people above all else.

In a world often driven by metrics and bottom lines, it is refreshing to encounter individuals who prioritize impact and genuine support above all else. My conversation with this potential funder reaffirmed my belief in the power of collaborative partnerships to drive positive change. Together, we can build a more equitable and prosperous future for all Senegalese citizens, one grounded in compassion, empathy, and a shared commitment to making a difference.

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Raby Gueye

Mom. Educator. Social Entrepreneur who enjoys writing. #TeachForSenegal #decolonizeeducation