Innov’Up Togo accelerates women-owned businesses in Togo thanks to DGGF support
“Women have more difficulties than men in getting access to finance”, says Candide Leguede, president of the Federation of Business Women and Entrepreneurs of Togo. This is why the Dutch Good Growth Fund – Financing Local SMEs – supports the first ever business incubator for women in Togo: Innov’Up. Innov’Up helps female entrepreneurs like Emefa and Kossiwa to start up and accelerate their business.
Emefa Kpegba (left), co-developer of the app ‘Agri Business Data’, with Hanna Banla-Kueviakoe, supervisor of entrepreneurs. The app collects, processes and publishes agricultural data such as the price of commodities and weather forecasts. Innov’Up is providing her technical support and has linked her to potential partners, domestically and internationally.
Two years ago, Candide started Innov’Up, the first ever business incubator for women in Togo. “We aim to promote the emergence of women-led enterprises through active and integrated support”, explains Candide, “in order to facilitate their transition from the informal to the formal economy.” Women are key contributors to the Togolese economy (responsible for 46% of GDP) but represent a staggering 70% of the informal sector.
To date, Innov’Up has helped around 50 women start up and accelerate their businesses in Togo and has trained thousands more in different aspects of entrepreneurship. Emefa A. Kpegba is a software engineer who developed an application called ‘Agri Business Data’ together with two agronomists. “It’s a platform that collects, processes and publishes agricultural data such as price of commodities and weather forecasts. We realized that this type of data is scarce in West Africa, even in universities where the data is often outdated.” Farmer cooperatives can now access data on prices, rain, etc. and send this information to members by cell phone text messages. Innov’Up is providing technical support to Emefa and has linked her to potential partners, domestically and internationally. Kossiwa Tsipoaka, a young university graduate, was also mentored by Innov’Up. She received business incubation support and now runs a company in water sanitation. Her company employs seven people, partners with companies as far as France and participates in official government procurement processes.
Local women entrepreneurs
DGGF’s Seed Capital & Business Development facility supports Innov’Up in order to help in developing an ecosystem that is more conducive to local women entrepreneurs in Togo. Interested to learn more about how DGGF is making a difference for local SMEs? Read the DGGF impact report .