DGGF celebrates International Women's Day

DGGF’s Seed Capital and Business Development (SC&BD) facility highlights Innov’Up with International Women’s Day as we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Innov’Up is the first ever business incubator for women in Togo and is championed by the Federation of Business Women and Entrepreneurs of Togo (FEBWE TOGO).

The role of women in the Togolese economy

Women are key contributors to the Togolese economy (responsible for 46% of GDP) but represent a staggering 70% of the informal sector. Innov’Up is set up to address this significant discrepancy by supporting women entrepreneurs in formalizing and growing their enterprises.  

As revealed by the DGGF-commissioned study #ClosingTheGapTogo, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Togo is still nascent, with a scarcity of financial and non-financial services available to local entrepreneurs. Over the past two years of Innov’Up and DGGF partnership, Innov’Up has supported 70 young entrepreneurs in starting up and accelerating their businesses in Togo and has trained thousands more in different aspects of entrepreneurship.

Innov’up’s recent success in the fashion industry

Recently, Innov’up partnered with the Dutch textile company Vlisco. The Vlisco Fashion Fund supports emerging designers and fashion designers in developing a career in the fashion industry. By sharing its knowledge and expertise and access to its broad network, Vlisco strives to help promising creators build their own fashion brands in West and Central Africa.

As a prelude to the launch of the Vlisco Fashion Fund 2019 competition, Innov’up was asked by Vlisco to train stylists in developing business plans. 78 selected stylists and designers were trained and have pitched to Vlisco Fashion Fund, thereby increasing their visibility on the national and international markets.

Empowering Women in Togo

Given the economic and social implications of the informal sector in Togo, building a sustainable incubation offering is a genuine opportunity to capture critical economic opportunities while empowering women to grow businesses and create jobs. The support provided by the SC&BD facility helps developing an ecosystem more conducive to local entrepreneurs.