Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s budding entrepreneurs have been challenged to come up with apt business plans in a bid to secure sufficient grants from donors, which will help them run their businesses efficiently.
This was said by Prof Honest Ngowi of the Mzumbe University when addressing participants of the National Tanzania Scale Forum yesterday. The forum carried the theme “Young Entrepreneurship for Social Impact”.
Besides Prof Ngowi called on financial institutions to support the young entrepreneurs by providing them with soft loans or grants to enable them to grow their businesses.
The National Tanzania Scale Forum, which was organised by the Aga Khan Development Network Agencies (Aga Khan University and Aga Khan Foundation), brought together over 100 young entrepreneurs from across the country to discuss and share experience in entrepreneurship.
For his part, the Director of East Africa Institute of Aga Khan University, Mr Alex Awiti said the programme was crucial because it provided the young entrepreneurs with the skills and experience about entrepreneurship.
“Today’s turnout clearly demonstrates readiness and commitment of the young Tanzanian entrepreneurs to learn more about entrepreneurship. This year, we conducted a similar training in Uganda, and in December, we are planning to have one in Kenya. The aim is to support the young entrepreneurs of East Africa to create job opportunities,” he said.
He further urged the financial institutions to be more creative in terms of structuring financial support to the young entrepreneurs.
In addition, one of the young entrepreneurs who attended the training, Ms Mecy Kitomora, an entrepreneur who stumbled upon the ice-cream business while studying in the United Kingdom, she said she was optimistic that it would enable her to gain more experience and knowledge about entrepreneurship, saying her mission was to develop her business in the near future.
“After pursuing my Master’s degree in Business Administration in the UK, I came back to Tanzania. Later on, I came to realise that it is very hard to land a job here, so I decided to become an entrepreneur,” she said.
She added: “My message to other young people is that, they should not rely on formal employments, instead they should venture into entrepreneurship because it pays off,”
For his part, Country Director of Aga Khan Foundation Mr Abdi Mallick stated: “With youth unemployment rates surpassing 50 per cent, it is now urgent that all stakeholders, public, private, individual and communities to come together and leverage youth potential,” he said.
He added: “Today’s programme will be followed by a summit on youth entrepreneurship that will feature the young entrepreneurs from the East African region. It will be held next year.”