Henderson December 2008

Name: Allison Henderson
Post: Azove
Contact: 97-92-51-84
Pickup Location: Cotonou
Project Description: Our project is using a network of seamstresses, their apprentices and fabric-dyers to create hand-crafted grocery bags/messenger bags for sale in the U.S. I have already laid a little groundwork with the Beninese Chamber of Commerce and we have already started production on a very small scale. There are companies already who have demonstrated interest (Urban Outfitters being one of them) in seeing a proposal of our items and are potential buyers.
Dates of Project: April 2008 and ongoing. This particular funding will allow us to buy a second round of primary materials to create prototype bags for demonstration and sale.
Number of People Involved: Approximately 18 women

Item Number Cost
Canvas Cord Straps 40 meters 16,000
Tissue 18 meters 24,500

Amount Requested: 40,500 CFA


GAD Coordinator Comments: I don't like the idea of using GAD money to buy materials for an income-generating project that is not currently sustainable. What do you think? Is this an acceptable use of GAD funds? I know we did this to a lesser extent with Ryan Vroegindewey's Shea Butter quality control training project, but in that case the materials purchased were being used only for the demonstration and women brought their own primary materials to use in creating a product to sell. Also, Ryan's project involved a substantial training component. If Allison were able to link this to some sort of training aspect, I would be less hesitant to approve this project.

GAD Specialist Comments: I completely agree with the comments above. This is different from Ryan's project. She should re-submit the proposal with the recommendations.

GAD Finance Comments: I agree with the above comments, and from what I know of the project, I think that there actually might be a training component involved. I think she just left out a lot of information. If you ask her for a more detailed description on what has been done thus far, what she plans to do, and the training necessary, I would give approval. She needs to demonstrate the sustainability; which could probably be attained through the continued making and selling of the bags in the United States. She just needs to prove that. Recommend funding if this can be provided.

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