• New financing for young Togolese entrepreneurs
  • New financing for young Togolese entrepreneurs

New financing for young Togolese entrepreneurs

To cope with the lack of funding for young promoters, the Togolese authorities have set up some structures in recent years. Whether the Youth Economic Initiatives Fund (FAIEJ) or the National Agency for the Promotion and Guarantee of Financing of SMEs (ANPGF), these two institutions are already working to provide financial support. But to cross other levels in their joint mission, they have just signed a partnership agreement at the end of May for new funding.

For Naka GNASSINGBE DE SOUZA, Director of ANPGF, the partnership will enable young entrepreneurs who already benefit from financial support to pursue even further in their new companies’ activities. “The two structures were created by the Togolese Government but with rather convergent missions and objectives. The objective of the partnership is to allow young entrepreneurs who have already been supported by FAIEJ and who have funding ceilings, to go even further. The young people at FAIEJ desk have already proved themselves – and have now reached maturity – but they still need help. ”

The same for Mrs. Sahouda GBADAMASSI MIVEDOR, Director of FAIEJ, for whom the newly-established companies must be supported through much larger loans. “These young people, after three years of activity, have proved their competence and have established companies that are profitable today. Now these companies have to move to another level of their business. To ensure this second phase, our two structures have signed the partnership, “she said.

Fighting unemployment but also underemployment

According to the recent survey called QUIBB 2015, the Togolese unemployment rate fell from 6.5% in 2011 to 3.4% in 2015, a reduction of half (3.1 percentage points). However, the rate of underemployment has increased by 2.1 points; from 22.8 per cent in 2011 to 24.9 per cent in 2015. Therefore, the two institutions will work together to reverse the trend of youth unemployment in Togo in conjunction with the reduction in underemployment. For the Director of ANPGF, “the challenge that has been launched to these two structures is to reduce the unemployment rate, to solve the problem of poverty and to fight underemployment”. The new partnership will therefore guide young graduates towards entrepreneurship.

“From now on, the choice is clear for all Togolese youth, we must set up a business to be financially supported by the two structures which have decided to pool their efforts. The young people who perform well thanks to the two structures will also be able to contribute in their own way to fight against unemployment and underemployment – because the Government cannot be the only employer in the country”, explained KOUDOU Dovi , a promoter of Kinkéliba tea already supported by FAIEJ, reminding us of the system: “The ceiling for corporate financing proposed by FAIEJ is CFA 6 million to a grouping and CFA 1.5 million to sole proprietorship “. And  according to ANPFG management,: “The main interest of our new convention is that ANPFG can now provide much higher amounts of funding  to contribute to the economic growth of our country and create jobs “. 

Multi-stakeholder funding

“The other objective of the partnership is that the two structures can pool their resources for the creation of a new fund, which will be supported not only by the Government but also by local authorities and partners Development,” explained Naka GNASSINGBE DE SOUZA. And in this context, already about twenty young entrepreneurs will benefit from the first broad funding as part of the convention.

As a reminder, the two structures individually support several hundred young Togolese entrepreneurs in setting up their businesses. In all economic sectors: agriculture, livestock, services, crafts, microphones, industries, etc … At the end of 2016, the authorities attributed satisfactory results to these two aid programs: 2000 young people with initiatives trained in business creation techniques; 1,200 jobs created; 400 business plans submitted and funded. However,1500 jobs are expected 400 new projects will be financed under the new agreement.


 

Author: Blamé Ekoué // Photos: Young entrepreneurs displaying their first check from FAIEJ © DR

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