Women and men from all around the rural areas of the Maritime Region in Togo are asking to be part of the Action10/S.E.VIE programme, “Community Services through Social Enterprise”. Before the start of the programme in 2011, the Togolese people in the rural areas of the Maritime Region had no access to any sort of investment capital to be able to start businesses and earn an income.
Report by Caroline Brundin, Senior Officer of Evaluation Planning work group
Neither authorities nor microfinance companies are active in these areas. The majority of people living in rural areas are poor and lack collateral to guarantee a loan. Rural areas are also often too remote for microfinance companies based in the capital or other larger cities.
Action10 and S.E.VIE provide small loans for business investments, training and coaching to entrepreneurs in the rural areas of the Maritime Region. S.E.VIE gives constant support to all borrowers as well as training on finance administration and accounting. The formal guarantee for the loan is replaced by a social solidarity structure in which entrepreneurs offered the loans form cooperatives of approximately five members. Individuals in the cooperatives independently run their businesses, but repayments are collective. Every entrepreneur pays back at an annual interest rate of ten percent. The profit from the interest covers the cost for the training and coaching. As soon as a loan is paid back the same amount is used to provide more entrepreneurs with investment capital.
In 2015, more than 400 entrepreneurs have been provided with investment capital and the programme is growing. In the village Tokpévia, villagers are engaged in the transformation of their village market place. Earlier, the market had a very limited supply of products and services. Today the market is alive and vibrant.
On market day there has been a significant increase in the number of products and services to be sold and bought. More families can now provide for their children, visit a hospital if necessary and make schooling possible for their children.
Action10 and our program partner S.E.VIE continuing working on providing opportunities for entrepreneurs in Togo. Our goal is to create sustainable economy locally.
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