Assilassimé : Social microfinance in Togo
The most vulnerable, especially women who have had less schooling, find it very difficult to find a job. The only way to survive and become independent is to start an income-generating activity. So from one day to the next, these men and women start either a small business, a small restaurant, a livestock farm, a craft workshop (sewing, hairdressing, shoemaking…). But in order to develop and sustain this activity, they need to be accompanied.The COVID-19 health crisis had also hurted the actors of the informal economy, the majority of whom are women. A large number of these informal traders and artisans have lost their activities and need support to restart them.
Social microfinance designed for the most needy
In 2012, Entrepreneurs du Monde launched Assilassimé (Hand in Hand in the Ewe language) to support vulnerable people excluded from traditional financial institutions.
It is unique in the microfinance landscape in Togo because it does not require any guarantee or deposit. Beyond microcredits, the team provides essential services that promote sustainable socio-economic emancipation such as savings, training and social support. For three consecutive years, Assilassimé has integrated agricultural training into its plan and provided farmers with highly qualified agronomists to help them make their crops more profitable.
Methodology of Assilassimé
Beneficiaries are organized in groups of 25 to 40 people so that they can socialize with each other, exchange their practices, and encourage each other to progress together. Each beneficiary is accompanied for as long as it is necessary for the implementation or the development of his or her micro-enterprise. A methodical follow-up of the social performance allows to verify that the living conditions of the beneficiaries are improving.
Support by Entrepreneurs du Monde
Initiated in 2012 by Entrepreneurs du Monde, Assilassimé is today an associative structure under Togolese law. In 2015, it obtained its approval to carry out microfinance activities and has since applied for approval to collect savings. At the end of 2018, it reached operational viability. Entrepreneurs du Monde continues to support it in its governance and strategic choices.