A3. Cooperatives & small-scale businesses in villages in Togo

Background

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. The women do not have enough financial resources to manage the farming and they have been excluded from regular microfinance institute. Isolated in the countryside and with no real guarantee to offers a loan giver; villagers desperately need money to invest and be able to develop their activities.  Yet, the Banks and the Microfinance institutions do not intervene in the remote areas of Togo.

Opportunity for collaboration

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. SEVIE and Action10  jointly provide loans to the business managers, mostly women, with 10 % annual interest, combined with training and coaching in all areas required for success. The business managers come together in a village group called an assembly, in which a president, a secretary and a counsellor is elected. Inside this assembly, cooperatives of 4 to 6 women are created. Each woman received a certain amount of money according to their project and the payback is collective.

The first step was a pilot in Foulany Kondji in 2012. It gathered 30 women and grew successfully every year. The project in Foulany Kondji eventually gave rise to an assembly with 200 women and a few men. During a period of six years, the programme grew and was adopted by eight villages. The approach is embracing all aspects of community services. 

Equal partnership 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.

Outcome

During the first years of the programme 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 eight villages and one semi-urban location and 300 business owners.  A new phase of the village programme was initiated in 2020, after a session of reflections over lessones learned, and targeted  four new villages and 200 new business owners. 

Target partners

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.

Programme management partners

Our programme management partners are
S.E.VIE and M. Yawo AHIAKPONOU.

The programme was initiated by S.E.VIE in 2012 and was then taken over by M. Yawo AHIAKPONOU  in 2019.

M. AHIAKPONOU Yawo has a very close link to the villages.

In 2019, S.E.VIE proposed to transfer their experience to a semi-urban context and to continue the collaboration with Action10, with the same approach but in Tsévie´ (programme A.26). S.E.VIE is located in and has a very close link to Tsévie.

Strategy for Change

Vision

Women in the villages have financial autonomy.

Ambition

Give a startup or scale-up loans to women in villages.
To get many families involved and benefit from the programme.

Outcome challenges

  1. The businesses are at a too small scale. The profit is used directly to feed the family.
  2. Lack of long-term planning.
  3. Farming is not profitable. The weather is not good enough. It does not generate income.
  4. Covid19 decreases the opportunity for contact and sale.

Activites

  1. Workshop with the women in order to help them to know how to manage their businesses. M DZAGLI visits them and teach them regularly during 2020.
  2. What can we do to support during the Covid-19?  A workshop on this, also ask for their ideas. Specially those who sell local drink use clean cups. Soap and water. Take away instead of serving. State of the art in other countries.
  3. How much more to give out in September? This is to increase the number. The ongoing will be followed during one year, to ensure trust, before giving out a second loan. 2000 Euro again.

Achieved Output

  1. M. Milohouh DZAGLI, HR&S coach,  worked with M. AHIAKPONOU Yawo to establish TRUST and RESPONSIBILITY. This was done through many phone calls and meetings early 2020.
  2. Thirty (30) people (29 women and 1 man) were involved for the first six (6) months in 2020 in the programme at Agbelouv, Togo. Agbelouve is a small town about 50 km from Lomé and it is associated to three small villages Kpotsokope, Agbodzekpo and Foulani Kondji.
  3. The programme on the field comprises of peoples with small business such as sales of maize, beans and cakes, rice, yams and fruits, bags, clothes and shoes, drugs, goats, local drinks, bars and hair dressers, etc.

Achieved Outcome

30 women 2,000 Euro in 1 Jan – 31 August 2020.  Paid back 2,200. Some will pay the coaches.

Expected outcome

  1. Sell products.
  2. Farming and sell the crop.
  3. Animal keeping (M Yawo).

 Progress markers

  1. 30 women in Jan and 30 women in September
  2. 100 % of the women pay back with interest.
  3. Whether the January businesses are sustainable in 31 Dec 2020, after two years, three years.

Baseline

  1. Women had limited access of loan from bank office.
  2. Women had some activity under her hands.

Sources of evidence

  1. Duplicated books that contains every transaction, one with the loan taker and the other with M AHIAKPONOU Yawo.
  2. General excel sheet for all the loan takers that contains all transactions.
  3. A contract of six months was signed in double by every loan taker.

Required input

  1. ActionInvest loan, that is paid back with 10 % annual interest. The situation will be discussed quarterly or bi-annually. Before the programme is concluded the full loan is paid back.

Business model

  1. Customer segments: Village women with small business
  2. Value propositions: F CFA 40000 – 60000 (60-90 euros)
  3. Distribution channels: Multi
  4. Customer relationships: 
  5. Revenue model: Bye & sell
  6. Key Activities: Sales of maize, beans and cakes, rice, yams and fruits, bags, clothes and shoes, drugs, goats, local drinks, bars and hair dressers, etc.
  7. Key Resources:
  8. Key Partnerships:
  9. Cost Structure:

Business model

Unit: FCFA,  FCFA is given as rounded off.

1st loan 2020

ActionInvest: Euro 2,000

Paid back: 1,200,000
100 % pay back with 10% interest.

2nd loan 2020

ActionInvest: Euro 3,000

Business investment loans
Paid back 1st loan = 1,200,000
New loan: 2.000.000
Coaches paid = 900 euros (590000)
New capital = 1,954,000-590,000= 1,364,000
Total capital= 1364000+1200000= 2,564,000

Beneficiaries: 60 persons
30 loan takers who have benefitted from a first loan:
1- 40000 FCFA each for 20 persons
2- 50000 FCFA each for 4 persons
3- 60000 FCFA each for 6 persons
30 new loan takers:
40000 FCFA each for 30 persons

Expected payback
Interest 10 % = 256,400
Coaching fee = 115 FCFA (Euro 0.17) per Target partner and week (24 weeks) = 165,000 FCFA
Expected payback: 2,986,000

Profit
422,000

Expected costs
Mobile Money Transfer cost (per week 3,000), six months (26 weeks): 78,000
Local travels: 165,000
Programme manager reimbursement 35,000 FCFA per month (Euro 53), six months: 210,000
Total: 453,000

Testimony
M Yawo Oct 2020: With this reimbursement (35,000 FCFA per month ) I will be able to work full-time on this programme and I will be in the villages every day.

unsplash - investment capital

3rd loan

ActionInvest: Euro 2,000

Additional Costs

  • An updated smartphone for the programme manager: Euro 100.
  • Reimbursement Management team: two ladies, FCFA 6,000 per person and month.
  • Repair motorbike of M. Yawo.

Status report July 2020

by Milohum Mikesokpo DZAGLI, PCA, CEO of Leaders & Development (L&D) and HR&S Evaluation planning coach.

Mr Milohum Mikesokpo DZAGLI worked with M. AHIAKPONOU Yawo to establish TRUST and RESPONSIBILITY for the new programme. This was done through many phone calls and meetings. L&D assisted the programme design including:

  • A business plan
  • Bookkeeping
  • Contract
  • Recruitment and Workshops
  • Management of ActionInvest funds

Contracts were signed on 29 /02/2020 and the new programme started finally from 01 march 2020 and the first reimbursement started on 12th march 2020. Thirty people (29 women and 1 man) were involved for the first six (6) months. This report concerns the evolution on the activities of the implementation of the “Small-scale business programme in Agbelouve”, Togo. Agbelouve is a small town about 50 km from Lomé and it is associated to three small villages Kpotsokope, Agbodzakpo and Foulani Kondji, which are situated within 30 km from Agbelouve. Follow-up communication was arranged through cell-phone messages and calls between M AHIAKPONOU Yawo and L&D to be sure of the implementation. The programme on the field comprises of peoples with small business such as sales of maize, beans and cakes, rice, yams and fruits, bags, clothes and shoes, drugs, goats, local drinks, bars, etc.

Status July 2020

  • Each loan taker had two duplicated books that contains every transaction, one with the loan taker and the other with M AHIAKPONOU Yawo.
  • L&D has a general excel sheet for all the loan takers that contains all transactions.
  • A contract of six months was signed in double by every loan taker.
  • An android Phone was bought for M AHIAKPONOU Yawo for helping for a good communication and for WhatsApp discussion
  • Regular discussions are performed with M Yao concerning the programme and difficulties
  • Mobile money transfer is used to reduce money transfer costs and this is also working well in this sanitary situations with COVID-19.

                                                                              Kotsokope,  2020

 

Challenges and proposed solutions

  • The mobility of M Yao is a very real issue. Because every week, he travels more than 60km to collect money from women.
  • Proposed solution: Mobil money transfer.
  • Too small amount of capital to give out as loans. The limit of the amount of the loans is 40000F CFA (60 euros) but some activities need more funds to reach sustainability.
  • Proposed solution: Increased volume of the capital.
  • A large number of candidates from the previous phase of the programme are expecting a continuation.
  • Proposed solution: Make a survey about the understanding and experiences among participants in the previous phase of the progamme, in order to learn the lessons and further strengthen the programme design.
 

Testimony
“The people involved in this programme were happy  with these forms of cooperatives and the smile began again”.

vISIT report AUGUST 2020

VISIT TO
AGBELOUVE,
FOULANY KONDJI, AGBODJEGBO, AND KOTSO KOPE
08/30/2020 FROM 1PM TO 5PM

REPORT by Elisabeth DRAFOR 08/31/2020

AGENDA
1- MEET THE BENEFICIARIES
2- PRESENTATION OF RISE TOGO MEMBERS TO BENEFICIARIES
3- EVALUATION OVER 6 MONTHS OF ACTIVITY

PARTICIPANTS
RISE TOGO:  Mr. DZAGLI MILOHUM, Mr. ALEX AKOTCHAYE, Mr. KOMI ABAVE, Mrs. ELISABETH DRAFOR.
SUPERVISOR OF THE AGBELOUWE SECTOR AND ITS SURROUNDINGS and PROGRAMME MANAGER Mr. AHIAKONOU YAWO.

This Sunday 08/30/2020 RISE TOGO went to AGBELOUVE and its surroundings for AN EVALUATION OF PROGRAM NO A3. SMALL-SCALE BUSINESS PROGRAM IN THE VILLAGES

The contract for this program was signed on March 01, 2020 and the start of activities on March 12, 2020 over a period of 6 months therefore ending at the end of this month of August
Following the visit followed by interviews with beneficiaries; the first part of this program went well and the reimbursements were made by proof of a payment book (1 with each beneficiary and 1 with Mr YAWO) which proves that all the members are up to date (exemple photo of a book below)
In addition all the beneficiaries have experienced the satisfaction of this program and strongly request a capital increase by means of 100,000 FCFA desired by all
They also suggest that it would be preferable for the funds to be on time according to the season of each activity for the smooth running of the latter thus avoiding delay in payment.
Out of 30 people participating in this program has AGBELOUVE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS; 19 were present for this evaluation.

Status report SEPTEMBER 2020

Coaching report

by Milohum DZAGLI

Background

Results from the inventory of the loans in the villages, Programme No A.3. HR&S – Action10 proposed a restart of Programme No A3.  L&D has kindly agreed to coach the programme and follow the management. And the management of this programme is now lead by a partner with a closer link to the villages, M. AHIAKPONOU Yawo.

L&D worked with M. AHIAKPONOU Yawo to establish TRUST and RESPONSIBILITY for the new programme. This was done through many phone calls and meetings. L&D assisted the programme design including:

  • A business plan
  • Bookkeeping
  • Contract
  • Recruitment and Workshops
  • Management of ActionInvest funds

Contracts were signed on 29 /02/2020 and the new programme started finally from 01 March 2020 and the first reimbursement started on 12th March 2020.

Thirty (30) people (29 women and 1 man) were involved for the first six (6) months. This report concerns the activities of the implementation of the “Small-scale business programme in Agbelouve”, Togo for these six (6) months.

Agbelouve is a small town about 50 km from Lomé and it is associated with three small villages Kpotsokope, Agbodzekpo and Foulani Kondji, which are situated within 30 km from Agbelouve

Follow-up communication was arranged through cell-phone messages and calls between M AHIAKPONOU Yawo and L&D to be sure of the implementation. The programme in the field comprises of peoples with small business such as sales of maize, beans and cakes, rice, yams and fruits, bags, clothes and shoes, drugs, goats, local drinks, bars and hairdressers, etc.

This programme ended on 31th of August 2020 and an onsite visit took place on 30 August 2020 to consider the real end and discuss with the loan takers.

It was noted that:

  • Each loan taker had two duplicated books that contain every transaction, one with the loan taker and the other with M AHIAKPONOU Yawo.
  • L&D has a general excel sheet for all the loan takers that contains all transactions.
  • A contract of six months was signed in double by every loan taker.
  • An Android Phone was bought for M AHIAKPONOU Yawo to enable good communication and for WhatsApp discussions.
  • Regular discussions were performed with M Yao concerning the programme and challenges.
  • Mobile money transfer is used to reduce money transfer costs and this is also working well in this sanitary situations with COVID-19.

The people involved in this programme were happy while the smile began again with these forms of cooperatives. All of them appreciated the support.

 

Challenges and proposed solutions

  • The mobility of M Yao is a very real issue. Because every week, he travels more than 60 km to collect money from the women.
    • Proposed solution: Mobil money transfer.
  • The limit of the amount of the loans is 40000F CFA (60 euros) but some activities would benefit from more funds to reach sustainability.
    • Proposed solution: Increased volume of the capital.
  • New candidates are expecting being integrated into the programme.
    • Proposed solution: More fund needed to come up with the demand.
  • A large number of candidates from the previous phase of the programme are requesting a continuation.
    • Proposed solution: Make a survey about the understanding and experiences among participants in the previous phase of the programme, in order to learn the lessons and further strengthen the programme design.
Finances

The situation on 31 August  2020, FCFA

Invested on the field

 

1,200,000
(€1,800)

Items

Expenses at the end

 

 

L&D

Programme

 

Reimbursement on 31 August  2020



1 476 000

Travel fees & salary of M Yao (35,000 (€50) *6)


210,000


Mobil money transfer (1,500 (€2) *4*6)


36,000


Communication 


30,000


Transport of L&D on 30/08/2020 (Agbelouve, Kpotsokope, Agbodzekpo and Foulani kope -Lomé, in and out)

20,000
(€30)



Remaining to be collected



0

TOTAL

20,000

276,000


Funds paid back to the account

 

 

1,200,000

Status report October 2020

Coaching report

by Milohum DZAGLI,
October 03th 2020

Background

Through the coaching of Leaders & Development (L&D), Togo, thirty (30) peoples got loans from HR&S – Action10 villages Programme No A3. This term ended end of august 2020. The management of this programme is now lead by a partner with a closer link to the villages, M. AHIAKONOU Yawo. TRUST, RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY were found along with this new start of the programme.

So new contracts were signed on October 03th, 2020 and the first reimbursement is set on October 08th, 2020. Sixty people (58 women and 2 men) were involved for the next six (6) months. This report concerns the launch of the activities of the implementation of the second phase of the “Small-scale business programme in Agbelouve”, Togo.

Agbelouve is a small town about 50 km from Lomé and it is associated with three small villages Kpotsokope, Agbodzakpo and Foulani Kondji, which are situated within 30 km from Agbelouve.

Follow-up communication was arranged through cell-phone messages and calls between M AHIAKONOU Yawo and L&D to be sure of the implementation and to recruit people to be involved. The programme on the field comprises of peoples with small business such as sales of maize, beans and cakes, rice, yams and fruits, bags, clothes and shoes, drugs, goats, local drinks, bars, etc.

On October, 03th, 2020

  • A workshop on how to use the grants and attitudes to avoid and to reimburse all the amount was addressed to all the participants in each village.
    The workshop was held by M DZAGLI, M AHIAKONOU Yawo and Mme NYAGBE (L&D).
  • Each loan taker had two duplicated books that will contain every transaction, one with the loan taker and the other with M AHIAKONOU Yawo.
  • L&D has a general excel sheet for all the loan takers that contains all transactions.
  • A contract of six months was signed in double by every loan taker.
  • Regular discussions started with M Yao concerning the programme and difficulties.
  • Mobile money transfer is used to reduce transport costs of M Yawo to Lomé or to a bank for the transfer.

The people involved in this programme were happy while the smile began again with these forms of cooperatives.

Challenges and proposed solutions

  • The mobility of M Yao is a very real issue. Because every week, he travels more than 60 km to collect money from around 60 people.
    Proposed solution: a coaching fee (collection fee) is set to be paid by each Target Partner (115 FCFA).
  • The minimum of the amount of the loans is 40000F CFA (60 euros) but some activities need more funds to reach sustainability.
    Proposed solution: ten (10) people saw their amount increased to 50000 (76euros) or 60000 (91 euros) of the capital.
  • New candidates are expecting being integrated into the programme
    Proposed solution: More fund needed to meet the request.
  • A large number of candidates from the previous phase of the programme are proposing a continuation.
    Proposed solution: Make a survey about the understanding and experiences among participants in the previous phase of the programme, in order to learn the lessons and further strengthen the programme design.

Expenses for the programme

Items

FCFA

Transport of M Alexis (in Lomé)

5000

Transport of L&D on 03/10/2020 (Agbelouve, Kpotsokope, Agbodzakpo and Foulani kope -Lomé, in and out)

10 000

Print of contracts

1200

Conception of contract and book

forfaits

Copy of Book / Sale of Book

15000/-15000

Invested on the field

2 560 000

TOTAL

2 576 200

Investment, Agbelouwe & villages, F CFA

 

 

 

 

Finances

 

 

 

First round paid back

1 200 000

ActionInvest (Euro 3000)

1 954 000

TOTAL1

 3 154 000

Capital Invested

2 560 000

Expenses

16 200

TOTAL2

2 576 200

Balance

578 000

 

For coaches, Euro 900 (4*225)

590 310

Number of participants

60

Periods

Capital + Interest

Capital

 

Interest

 

Coaching / Collection fees charged  Target Partners

 

Transfer fees

(Money Transfer)

 

Spending

Week

117 430

106 690

10 740

6 900

3 000

5 400

Month

469 720

426 760

42 960

27 600

12 000

21 600

Duration 2 of the programme (6 months)

 2 818 320

2 560 560

257 760

165 600

72 000

129600

 

Monthly expenses

Admin & communication

5 000

Coaching or collection costs

27 600

Monthly salary supplement M Yawo (41 560)

13 960

Women (2)

12 000

Transfer fee

12 000

Total

70 560

End Programme – TOTAL (x 6)

423360

Impact assessment

Survey Manual

  • Compile tesimonies.
  • Make individual interviews.
  • Perform group discussions.
  • Take photos, take videos.

Preparations
Involve the full coaching team in identifying individual questions and group questions.

Make four field-visits
Visit No ONE – Five programme villages:
1. Ask the individual survey questions
2. Call for group meeting and ask the group questions.
3. Ask a few individuals for testimonies.
4. Take photos and video.
Compile results and call for groups asssessment

Draft individual survey Questions

  • NAME & FIRST NAME OF WOMAN
  • ADDRESS / Tel REGION PREFECTURE / CITY CANTON
  • NAME & FIRST NAME OF COACH
  • TYPOLOGY (various studies)
  • PERFORMANCE LEVEL OF THE CARRIER
  • Title of the activity activity in extension start-up activities
  • Start date of coaching
  • Monthly income without SEVIE project
  • Effective start date of the activity
  • Duration of operation
  • Sum disbursement
  • Monthly turnover (Write the monthly turnover for each month so that we can see the progress)
  • Net cash flow or Self-financing capacity (CAF) (Write the CAF for each month so that we can see the progress)
  • Savings made
  • Assessment of the evolution of the activity compared to the PA (Good performance, average performance, poor performance, performance in decline, performance in progress, etc.)
  • Comment on performance (Identification of the strengths and weaknesses of the carrier, the opportunities and threats, training received, etc.)
  • Proposal for a solution approach (to strengthen the strengths and reduce the weaknesses by exploiting the opportunities and bypassing the threats)
  • State of implementation work of the or each recommendation (To be completed within a month after the recommendations made)
unsplash - steps

Survey team

Survey coach from the RISE Centre: Elisabeth DRAFOR
Programme manager: M. YAWO

Control

As control we benefit from three neighbouring villages that where not yet involved with the programme.

Survey sample

  1. Each programme village
    • Each member the programme.
    • A number of villagers (maybe five) that were not member of the programme.
    • The village leaders.
    • Other stakeholders.
  2. Five control villages
    • A number of villagers (maybe five-ten) that were not member of the programme.
    • The village leaders.
    • Other stakeholders

Testimonies

Milohum October 2020: During my next visit, I will insist on the sustainability aspect because it difficult in these villages.
Milohum October 2020: Yawo is in favour of the programme and willing to work hard for it. Because it helps people to do something and get money for all the family.
Milohum October 2020: Yawo informed about that a cooperative bank came to propose a loan to some people in the village, but the offer of A10, was the best.

 

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