Benin has made considerable efforts to improve the living environment through several ambitious WASH programs, but in 2020, levels of sanitation access in urban areas according to the Joint Monitoring Program were still low. A private sector is active throughout the country to address these sanitation service needs, but sanitation companies often have limited sales and marketing capabilities and generally do not invest in proactively finding new customers. In addition, high costs of construction materials used to manufacture toilets has driven up consumer prices, which makes it difficult to increase sales. MuniWASH continues to provide capacity building support to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to help them improve their ability to deliver quality services to households while tailoring proposed solutions for the local context.
The consistent support provided by Technical and Financial Partners (TFP – mainly USAID) to the MSMEs entrepreneurs in terms of promoting on-site sanitation facilities has improved their self-esteem and the quality of their work. Once considered a marginal profession, sanitation entrepreneurs are increasingly asserting their status as valued sanitation professionals. Some MSMEs are showing leadership by developing their strategy to gain market share, improving quality control, and mobilizing their peers to take part in trainings organized by the umbrella organization – the National Association of on-site Sanitation Entrepreneurs.
The MSMEs have become aware of their capacities and have realized the potential of the market. Customers are reached through various channels, including social networks, local radio, and word of mouth. The increasing market share has led to an increase in revenue, which, in turn, has bolstered savings. For many service providers, the objective is to accumulate substantial savings to serve as leverage to access capital from financing institutions. In doing so, the providers hope to expand and diversify the services offered to customers.
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