Women, youth urged to seek self employment

Women and youth in the country are encouraged to venture into self employment if they are to be financially independent by taking advantage of the country’s conducive Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) policy that has been improved to develop the private sector as the economy’s key driving force.

Veronica Shao, the Managing Director of the Kilimanjaro-based Cluster on STDs/HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Interventions Organization (KINSHAI) maintains that reliance on corporate employment is hurting these to special groups.

Addressing wananchi in Msae-Kinyamvuo and Samanga villages in Marangu-Mwika and Marangu East, Moshi rural district late last week, she said the government has set up favourable self employment policies allowing the SME sector to grow and flourish.

“You cannot wait for employment alone…” she cautioned “…the small business environment is favourable it allows one to start a business and grow it through loans given to various groups at very good rates,” she explained but noted that there is need for the policy to be improved further because according to her, it is still biased towards big businesses.

“A good example is Marangu East and Mwika North,” she said “…the women there have increased their productivity and revenue from the entrepreneurship training we imparted on them,” she added in reference to a recent training in the area that was supported by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

Shao encouraged the villagers to attend the various trainings offered in the area to boost their knowledge of the sector and to also form groups that will ease their access to capital loans.

She said her organisation aims to reach more than 4000 women and 700 youth in Moshi Rural district by June 2015.

Training facilitators Mike Ngowi and Sarah Shayo seconded their Managing Director saying Tanzania’s SMEs policy is now much more welcoming to start up businesses but according to them, the policy doesn’t talk about women entrepreneurs yet they need special attention considering the special constraints they face in a chauvinistic industry.”

“The policies formulated should put into consideration constraints which women entrepreneurs face and suggest how they can be supported to achieve sustainable development,” Shayo advised.

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