Netherlands Embassy in Tanzania has the aim to increase its support to women entrepreneurs owning and/or managing a small or medium sized business (SME). And they have selected Brilliant Entrepreneur to implement a pilot project for 20 women entrepreneurs. Together with the Tanzanian organisation SheFound we designed an accelerator programme that will give a boost to the selected entrepreneurs. Although it is accepted for women to run a business, these are lagging behind in size compared to those of men. With our accelerator programme they can take a big leap and overcome a number of challenges.
Challenges and disadvantages
It is quite common in Tanzania for women to start business activities. More than half of the businesses are owned by women. However, most of these businesses stay small and informal because women have to deal with a lot of challenges and disadvantages. They usually had less education than men and are not aware of their rights and services that are available for entrepreneurs. Women are more vulnerable to officials who sometimes use corrupt practices when women come to their office for licenses and registration. Another barrier is the cultural environment, where it is expected that women take full care of the family and the household, resulting in less mobility and time for the business.
Access to finance
According to a research from the Embassy a main challenge is access to finance. Few women own land, while this is often requested as collateral by banks. In order to get a loan, banks often need personal documentation, such as ID cards and birth certificates, which not all women have. Lack of education and knowledge also plays a role, since banks expect a certain level of financial literacy. During the accelerator there will be specific attention for finances and investments, by connecting the women to financial service providers and arranging a financial literacy training. Four of the 20 participants will be selected by SheFound to receive an intensive investor readiness training after the accelerator.
Are you a small or medium sized woman entrepreneur in Tanzania and do you want to participate in the accelerator? Are you a service provider in Tanzania or elsewhere looking for more female clients? Or are you otherwise interested in women entrepreneurship in Tanzania? Send us a message!