Updated: Friday 30 June 2017

COWASH organized Micro and Small Enterprise TOT Workshop

Community-Led Accelerated WASH (COWASH) conducted Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) a TOT workshop for experts from sector bureaus of the project regions from 8-10 June 2017 in Bishoftu. The objective of the workshop was to introduce and enrich the project’s MSE development guideline and cultivate consensus on the forward.

The workshop that brought together more than 40 participants (5 female) was officially opened by Arto Suominen, Chief Technical Advisor of Federal Technical Assistance Team. In his opening remark, Mr. Suominen focused on the new targets which include ensuring access to WASH services to all and promoting women entrepreneurship. He gave a great deal of emphasis on the need to develop women led operation and maintenance and sanitation marketing enterprises that would play significant role in warranting sustainability.

COWASH plans to support the development of 26 women-led micro and small enterprises in total of 19 districts in the project regions in the third phase. Making at least 70% of the established enterprises profitable is the major target. Similarly, the enterprises are expected to create 130 jobs. Even if the enterprise is labeled as women led, it does also comprise men as founding member. On the other hand, it was also suggested, during the workshop, to limit the membership size from 5-7.

Challenges that would encounter the development of micro and small enterprises were raised and discussed. Lack of experience in O&M and sanitation marketing businesses at local level is a challenge to introduce and strengthen MSE enterprises. Low women turnouts is another challenge that would affect the effectiveness of the target. Limited market linkage may also pause challenge to the enterprises. To address these and other similar challenges, close follow up and mentorship from district, MSE agency and WASH partners was recommended.

In related news, workshop participants were presented with National Hygiene and Environmental Strategy and Sanitation Marketing Guideline. It was reported in the guideline that the current national latrine coverage is 68% while the total improved latrine coverage is 28%. On the same day, towards the conclusion, participants also briefed on Business Model Canvas. The briefing focuses on introducing innovative business model that would help establish successful businesses. The way forward after the ToT workshop includes finalizing the MSE development guideline by way of incorporating the workshop inputs and cascading the training to pilot Woredas.

In conclusion participants were happy with the way the workshop was organized and the topics discussed. “I am really happy with the way you have organized the training. The issues we have covered in three days are also very interesting,” says Mulugeta Cherinet from Tigray Health Bureau.