A3. Cooperatives in rural Togo

Context

Through the many visits that S.E.VIE performed in the rural villages in the Zio prefecture in Togo during 2010 and 2011, the association identified a yet neglected but potential economic development opportunities of these villages.  Women from villages struggle every day to run their business. Even though they have a strong and detailed project; microfinance companies have given up on them. Isolated in the country side and with no real guarantee to give to the backer; villagers desperately need money to invest and be able to develop their activities. The women do not have enough financial resources to manage the farming and they have been excluded from regular microfinance institute. Yet the Banks and the Microfinance institutions did not intend to intervene in the remote areas of Togo.

Therefore, in 2012 S.E.VIE and Action10 decided to implement a programme addressing community services through social enterprising in rural Togo. The scope of the programme was to support women and men, who wanted to start social enterprises which should provide community services. The approach is embracing all aspects if community services. SEVIE and Action10  jointly provide a loan with 10 % annual interest, combined with training and coaching in all areas required for success. The first step was a pilot in Foulany Kondji. It gathered 30 women in a group called an assembly, in which a president, a secretary and a counsellor was be elected. Inside this assembly, cooperatives from 4 to 6 women will be created. Each woman will receive an amount of money according to their project and the pay back will be collective.

Our partners

Our partners are S.E.VIE, M Yawo and L&D.
This programme was designed and implemented by S.E.VIE in 2012 and was then taken over by L&D and M Yawo in 2019.

Our collaboration

We aim to work in equal partnership, where each partner and partner institution is contributing with their skills to achieve the goals and where input, responsability and benefits are shared equally. The programmes must be needs driven, in the sense that a local stakeholders brings the idea and is responsible for the implementation of the programme. We further aim for real-time evalation planning, sustainable economy, accountabiliity and evidence based impact.

The villages

  1. Foulani Konji. Starts August 2012. Following the pilot-project, 200 women formed a cooperative in Foulani Kondji.
  2. Konde kopé. Start November 2012.
  3. Boota. Start September 2013.
  4. Kpota. Start October 2013.
  5. Topévia.Start October 2013.
  6. Tsévié. Start 2013 The businesses in Tsévié, not a village but a small city, concerns mostly selling food by the road.
  7. Toméfa Start 2014.
  8. Agbodzekpo Start 2014.
  9. Kotsokopé Start 2015. 25 new entrepreneurs.

Outcome

The business owners paid back at the level of 90%. They appreciated the opportunity and the training. They complained about a too limited amount of coaching and they would have wished for larger amount of funds. The first phase of the programme was concluded 2018, and had then reached nine villages and 300 business owners.

The programme in Tsévié was kept, and was scled up to include 300 women. A new phase of the village programme was initiated in 2020, after having adjusted the concept to lessons learned.

Evidence based impact assessment

Control

Four new neighbouring villages are involved in 2020, and the situation in these villages, at the time of starting constitutes the control for our evidence based impact assessment.

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