A positive person is one who fell down, got up, moved, healed his wounds, smiled at life and said: I am still here.

It was this optimism that excited the participants of the pilot workshop on post-COVID resilience of SSE enterprises that are members of RAESS, with the support of the Advocacy for the Promotion of SSE as a Strategy for Achieving Sustainable Development in the Post COVID-19 (Project ACCD-RIPESS).

For three days, the workshop on strengthening the resilience of RAESS member enterprises to recover from the negative impacts of COVID-19 was held at the Centre National pour la Promotion de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire (National Centre for the Promotion of the Social and Solidarity Economy) from 15 to 17 April 2021 in Bamako, Mali.

A RAESS evaluation survey of RENAPESS Mali members found that most SSE enterprises in the country were experiencing enormous difficulties in their operations, with some even having been forced to cease operations permanently or temporarily due to the consequences of the health measures imposed in the fight against the pandemic.

It is in this context that the ACCD project came to the support of RAESS and its country member networks, by supporting the organisation of post-COVID resilience-building workshop for SSE enterprises affected by the anti-COVID measures.

The participants, mostly women, were unanimous in pointing out that the drastic measures of lockdowns and social distancing have affected the markets, making it difficult to sell products in some cases and in others causing customers to flee.

Restorers saw customers desert their sites and no longer had a market for seminars and training workshops.

Garage owners no longer received cars.

With the suspension of social ceremonies, customers no longer had new clothes sewn.

These are some examples of the trauma suffered by the markets.

By putting forward a 6-step approach to resilience, the workshop made participants aware of the need to adopt a prevention-oriented approach to business management.

Beyond the training aspect, the workshop allowed the participants to create a permanent exchange network on WhatsApp, which today includes more than 150 participants. There they exchange information on funding and training opportunities, product marketing, etc.

It was also an opportunity to build a bridge between SSE actors and CENAPESS.

The WhatsApp group continues and businesses have regained hope and many have resumed their activities.

Al Assane SANOGO

Project Manager ACCD/RIPESS