Digital platform to help small businesses growth

29Nov 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Digital platform to help small businesses growth

SMALL and medium entrepreneurs in the country are to benefit from an online digital and mobile platform that will connect them to business development services as well as financial institutions in their localities.

The application dubbed BizFund was launched in Dar es Salaam yesterday and is an innovative platform that aims to assist small businesses in the country to grow and flourish.

The platform is the brainchild of Feed the Future Tanzania Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE) and funded by USAID. 

Scott Bennett, USAID ENGINE Programme deputy chief of party, said that the platform is a means for facilitating market linkages among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and business development services providers.

“The online platform allows registered business owners to easily identify business service providers within their geographical areas who possess the expertise they need to help them improve performance and grow their businesses,” he said.

He said that the online platform will help them better access the information, support and financing their need, while BDS providers and financial institutions will gain access to a larger network of potential customers.

According to ENGINE Institutional Partnerships Coordinator, Immaculate Mwaungulu, the platform will be sustainable in the sense that it will be handed over to a local institution once it becomes fully fledged.

The project is a four-year activity, she said, noting that at the moment they have already pinpointed local institutions that would be handed over the platform but one would be named later after it has been finally selected.

The application has been on trial for almost a year now and they have already registered 125 small and medium businesses as well as 64 business development services providers.

For starters, the application is currently available in the SAGCOT regions of Mbeya, Iringa and Morogoro as well as Zanzibar.  

With over 3 million small and medium entrepreneurs in the country, the platform is expected to go a long way in assisting businesses grow once it becomes an application of choice.