The Dutch Embassy in Burkina Faso, Aqua for All and ForthInvestment initiated a workshop on WASH entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso. The objectives of this workshop were to close the WASH SME PERFORMANCE programme and to present the different projects supported by Aqua for All in Burkina Faso (WASH SME PERFORMANCE, Oshun Bobo Dioulasso, RESOB, OUDEC WASH and Pompe PuPu).
Ten Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the water, sanitation and integrated water resources management sector benefited from ten months of support as part of the implementation of the WASH SME PERFORMANCE Programme initiated by ForthInvestment in partnership with Aqua for All.
The beneficiaries of this support programme each received a certificate of participation in the SME WASH PERFORMANCE programme. This support enabled them to strengthen their organisational and technical skills, increase their turnover, optimise the products and services they offer and become more efficient in their search for financing.
Chantal Bougouma, a representative of one of the beneficiary companies, said she was satisfied with the quality of the support. “I am very satisfied, especially because it was tailor-made support. It was really quite practical, it was not just training, grouped coaching. Our personal needs were taken into account,” she said.
Massa Balima, Managing Director of ForthInvestment, says that it all started with the observation that businesses in Burkina Faso and Africa lack the skills needed to sustain their activities.
“We wanted to set up a specific and exclusive programme to overcome this lack of skills, a programme that combined technical assistance, organisational support and financial support to enable these companies to develop and reach a stage where they could interest the classic financial players such as investment funds or banks.
Titia Wouters, Regional Director for West Africa at Aqua for All, the main partner of the SME WASH PERFORMANCE programme, said she was ready to support initiatives in the framework of access to water for all: “We believe that by investing in the private sector and supporting entrepreneurs working in the water and sanitation sector, we can boost the actors and find better access to financing from financial institutions”.
Launched in February 2021, the WASH SME PERFORMANCE Programme does not intend to stop there and ForthInvestment is already considering the implementation of the second phase of WASH SME PERFORMANCE for young entrepreneurs working in the water and sanitation sector.