Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

17 March 2014

Tanzania: NGO Embarks On SMEs Financial Empowerment Drive

SMALL and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) seeking business loans have been advised to secure proper knowledge in financial management to succeed and prosper in their operations.

Speaking at a two-day Financial Empowerment Seminars for SMEs in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, the Director for Small Industries and SMEs at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Dr Consolatha Ishebabi said many businesses fail for lack of managerial skills.

She said that loans without business management acumen might cause the whole business to collapse, drain the capital and condemn the borrowers into heavy indebtedness.

"Most of Tanzania entrepreneurs think that having enough capital is the key to succeeding in business. This is a misguided thought. Many go for loans but their businesses fail to grow and find themselves in huge debts," she said.

She called upon entrepreneurs to develop a culture of seeking appropriate training before investing heavily in a trade they knew little about.

The FAIDIKA Chief Executive Officer, Ms Marion Moore, said as part of her company's contribution to the social welfare of Tanzania, FAIDIKA has extended education to the disadvantaged and marginalised Tanzanian Citizen through its FAIDIKA FREE Financial Empowerment Seminars, with a motivation motto dubbed "NAWEZA".

The seminar which also saw a launch of a training workbook compiled by two Business College lecturers, Mr Emanuel Mwakyusa and Dr Ellen Otaru Okoedion, for basic entrepreneurs, includes training from VODACOM Tanzania on usage of a mobile phone as a business tool.

"This programme is aimed at developing and implementing measures to promote the economic enfranchisement to disadvantaged people through micro-credit and entrepreneurship education and will be run as a two-day seminar covering all aspects of starting up and managing business and also the use of technology especially the mobile phone to enhance business," she said.

Ms Moore said at the end of the seminar, participants will be able to identify the kind of business they want to engage in, write a simple business plan, carry out basic accounting and be inspired to change their lives.

"This is an initial pilot of the public education phase of the programme and will initially cover Dar es Salaam, Mbeya and Arusha regions, targeting 300 participants drawn from three target groups: Women 34 per cent, the disabled 32 per cent and the ordinary men on the street 34 per cent," she said.

In another development, FAIDIKA CEO hinted that her financial institution will soon start lending to SMEs, micro finance institutions and businesses, working closely with people who are willing to work hard and believe in themselves by upholding the "NAWEZA" spirit.

Ms Moore also said that trained entrepreneurs would also enter into a business plan writing competition, whose winners will receive a cash prizes which will act as a capital for that particular winning plan.

One of the trained entrepreneurs and leader of FAMASA Disabled Group, Lillian Kabalika, on behalf of other trainees, appreciated FAIDIKA's gesture by recognising the need to support people with disabilities by giving them free entrepreneurial education which has been an eye opener to them.

"We appreciate this gesture. We only request that FAIDIKA should not stop at training the less fortunate and the marginalised groups, but should help this people to implement their acquired skills.

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