Small-scale businesses in villages
More than 400 women entrepreneurs in nine rural villages in Togo have set up their own businesses as a result of our collaboration with S.E.VIE in Togo and Action10 in Sweden. These businesses address the requests by the villagers such as; producing and selling food, drinks and clothing as well as offering medicine, medical advice and hair dressing. The entrepreneurs have been provided with small loans, business training adapted to local conditions, and weekly on-site coaching. The women share a collective responsibility for meeting loan repayments. This way if one woman can’t make a repayment one week, the group will pay it back on time. 99% of the loans have been paid back and have been reinvested into new businesses. We receive 10% interest on our loans and the income co-funds the running of the programme in Togo. Enhancing the knowledge and business skills of these women is just as important as the loan itself. Our partners SEVIE have created a bespoke training programme suited to the learning needs of the women so they acquire lifelong knowledge about earning profit, saving and reinvesting into their business.
As a service to the entrepreneurs the funds are collected every week, as our partners do not have safe places to keep their money. Consequently, a loan can be directly given to another entrepreneur and the total interest becomes more than 10%. This extra profit is used to support basic education.