Dar es Salaam (ILO News). The ILO in collaboration with the UNDP conducted an eight days entrepreneurship training programme for 12 enterprise groups in Kigoma from 17 to 25 June 2019. Organized under the Kigoma UN Joint Programme: Youth and Women Economic Empowerment (YWEE) component, the training targeted 24 beneficiaries from four districts in Kigoma region, namely – Kasulu TC, Kasulu DC, Kibondo DC and Kakonko DC.
The workshop is part of the programme’s capacity building initiative which aims to provide ongoing support and mentorship to 289 women and youth (of which 85% are women) who have received funding and non-financial support. Six months on, the 12 enterprise groups through support from the programme, have set up various businesses: from fish, poultry and pig farming, to agricultural processing, fashion design and tailoring to wine making. The groups now face various opportunities and challenges on their journey towards building sustainable small to middle scale enterprises. The ILO and UNDP work to support the enterprise groups to refine and scale up their enterprises using ILO specialised Start and improve your Business (SIYB) tools.
“The small scale enterprises are now at a crucial juncture where business management skills are the determining factor for their growth and sustainability,” says ILO National Programme Officer, Ms. Cressida Mwamboma.
The training focused on filling knowledge gaps in business management with emphasis on:
- Understanding customers
- Improving salesperson skills
- Designing a group action plan
- Product packaging
- Record keeping and stock taking
Members of the Vijana Tuinuane enterprise group from Kibondo District are no strangers to the world of agribusiness but the ongoing training from the YWEE programme has allowed them to run their enterprises with more business savvy. According to group chairperson David Dauson, the IYB training will help him become a shrewder businessman.
“I think we as farmers forget to see work as businesses. Before this training we didn’t know about direct material costs and indirect costs …we now know how to manage expenses in order to increase our profit.” David said.
Coletha Chutse, a leader from the Tushirikiane Women’s Pig farming group, sees the knowledge they have acquired as invaluable.
“We are very grateful to the UNDP and ILO for funding our businesses, as the training we have received this week will empower us as business women…We are currently constructing and the skills we have gained on costing of manufacturer and service operators will help us greatly… We as women are often overcharged for construction costs because suppliers think that we are ignorant on such matters.”