In a significant stride towards advancing economic inclusivity and prosperity, UNDP Sierra Leone has unveiled a strategic alliance with Apex Bank and LAPO Microfinance for their joint informal economy initiative.

Under this cooperative endeavor, UNDP Sierra Leone, Apex Bank, and LAPO Microfinance will collaborate closely to craft, test, and extend financial products and services customized explicitly for the informal enterprises and entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone. This pioneering venture is an integral component of the expansive Informal Economy project, generously underwritten by the European Union in Sierra Leone.

This partnership materialized following the initiation of an innovation challenge by UNDP Sierra Leone, wherein Apex Bank and LAPO Microfinance distinguished themselves as the victors.

Consequently, both financial institutions have been awarded grants of $150,000 each to innovate financial solutions finely tuned to meet the distinct requirements of informal enterprises in the nation.

The core objective of this initiative is to unlock the latent potential of Sierra Leone’s informal economy. By facilitating access to financial services and advocating for formalization, the project aspires to nurture inclusive economic growth, catalyze economic transformation, and enhance the livelihoods of individuals involved in the informal sector.

This ambitious undertaking will be jointly executed by UNDP Sierra Leone and the International Labour Organization, reinforcing the dedication of these entities to catalyzing positive transformations and sustainable development in Sierra Leone.

The partnership uniting UNDP Sierra Leone, ApexBank, and LAPO Microfinance signifies a pivotal stride towards harnessing the economic prowess of the informal sector, ushering in a path towards heightened prosperity and progress within the nation.