Somalia programmes (2012-2020)
With support from Sida, ForumCiv Somalia started the diaspora programme as a pilot project (2012-2015). The programme supported Swedish-Somali diaspora organisations that implemented projects together with local civil society organisations in Somalia. When the pilot project was completed, ForumCiv received a new trust from Sida to further develop the programme, which meant that ForumCiv could open a country office with presence in three cities.
ForumCiv has worked to provide both financial support (through the diaspora and through direct funding) and capacity development to civil society in Somalia. The programme has seen results in democracy, human rights, equality and therefore contributed to the overall goal: to ensure greater participation of marginalised people and civil society organisations in decision-making processes in the target areas of Somalia.
The Swedish-Somali Business Programme (SSBP) started in 2016 with support from Sida and in collaboration with Business Sweden. SSBP supported business development in Somalia, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises, with the aim of creating jobs (steady jobs with decent wages), especially for women and young people.
The programme had three components:
- Challenge fund: Where the Somali diaspora could apply for financial support to develop a business plan and / or start a new company, with their own money that matched part of the grant.
- Capacity development: This included a three-day introductory course before the work began and then business advice from Business Sweden. ForumCiv also provided capacity development in accounting, personnel issues, marketing and technical advice on issues for companies that needed it.
- Support to gain access to additional capital: It was originally intended that ForumCiv would prepare companies for other "Challenge Funds" when they finished SSBP. However, since all Challenge Funds in Somalia were closed down, ForumCiv had to find another way to be a bridge to further development for the companies.
By December 2019, the companies, with the support of the programme, had created 492 jobs, of which 43% of them were employees and 53% young people. About 40% of the companies that left SSBP had secured loans, investments, or partnerships. But SSBP contributed much more than that. Under SSBP, financially sustainable companies were created that take care of the environment and their employees. Many have written contracts with their employees, respect the minimum wage, and have created jobs suitable for women. In addition, all companies that finished the programme also developed an anti-corruption policy.