The project among other will focus more on identifying major challenges facing SMEs, providing training and enabling them access the markets in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states.
Dubbed “Small Business Ecosystems Analytics Platform”, the project will be implemented by four organization namely Catalyst for Growth (C4G) in South Africa; SEDIT and Dalberg in Tanzania and BongoHive in Zambia.
Speaking during the launch of the project in Dar es Salaam, senior Economist from National economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) Edwin Chrisant said that SMEs are the key to a country’s economic growth and their success can help reduce poverty, improve health of families and communities, raise literacy and educational levels, and empower women.
He commended the project saying that its implementation will be supporting the government’s efforts of improving trade and business in the country. Chrisant said that it was high time for Tanzanians to unleash their production energy and creativeness so as to grab the market opportunities available in SADC member states the country’s development.
According to him, NEEC is well prepared to ensure that it empowers people economically and promote investment in the country.
For his part, Sifiso Ndwandwe, the executive director of the South African based organization- Catalyst for Growth said that the project started as pilot in South Africa and has now expanded to Tanzania and Zambia.
He said that under the project, local originations working to support business development will be capacitated to enable them help SMEs to grow their business, link them to finances and markets.
“Through this, we will witness individual SMEs improving their management and entrepreneurship skills to manage profitable businesses,” he added.
He explained that “the platform is a mechanism to drive collaboration and evidence-based planning and decision making for all stakeholders in the SMME support ecosystem in each country and across the region, so that resources are directed towards innovative support interventions that work.
” Filbet Samabagi, executive director SEDIT Tanzania said that “We will be working tighter with other ten organizations that support business development in the country to indent and train SMEs on better ways of improving their products to grab SADC markets.”