Helping Hand director, deaf association chart path to success

12Mar 2017
The Guardian Reporter
Guardian On Sunday
Helping Hand director, deaf association chart path to success

LACK of management skills, entrepreneurship and market awareness are key factors hindering the disabled, and the deaf in particular, to engage in the food processing sub sector.

Lupi Maswanya

Deaf people were also having difficulties in setting up poultry farming, tailoring or handicrafts in local markets and wider regional markets.

Tanzanian Deaf Association gender officer, Lupi Maswanya told this newspaper at midweek that many deaf people across the country still lag behind on business education, management and in employment, as many of them have lower levels of education.

In view of the low education they have, have failed to benefit from the business opportunities available within the country and other foreign countries.

“After identifying the challenges, we have decided to invite an expert from a Dar es Salaam based company,-Helping Hand so that he can train us in management skills , entrepreneurship, business plans and other issues so that the deaf can begin to run their business more effectively and benefit from what they have,” she said.

Many deaf entrepreneurs are not getting the basic business education they need to become good entrepreneurs who can support their families and their communities out of poverty because they don’t have funds to attend different trainings.

“We express thanks to the managing director of Helping Hand, Mr. Biga Kaisi for accepting our invitation and agree to train us free of charge after identifying that deaf entrepreneurs don’t have funds to pay for the training,” she further stated.

The training was held last week at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) and to start with, about 18 deaf people were trained on management skills, how to write a business plan, market surveys, opening business accounts and other issues.

Following with the global economic crisis, right now they don’t have any donors who can support them in -terms of funds so that can obtain training on various issues and raise awareness to the community about deaf.

“Before the global economic crisis, we were normally accessing financial assistance from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department for International Development Cooperation (FINNIDA) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, (SIDA),” she said.

Since the global economic crisis occurred, insufficiency of funds is the major challenge that hinders the deaf association from implementing planned activities for the deaf across the country.

Highlighting on the products they have, she said at the moment handbags, tailoring, carpentry, food processing products, poultry farming, selling eggs are the main products that deaf entrepreneurs are dealing with and sell across the country.

Although many deaf entrepreneurs sell their products in many areas across the country, they don’t have business education, she said.

Focusing on markets, she said the competition for the products they have is very tough.
“We want to sell our products in many areas but the main challenge is the competition. We believe through this training we will become more competent in what we do and understand what is required in the market,” she said.

Helping Hand managing director Biga Kaisi called on deaf entrepreneurs to conduct market surveys before they start introducing a new product into the market to identify what is required and the market demand.

Apart from that he called on them to make business plans for the projects they plan to carry out as the business plan is a guide for the business to succeed.

“Today I have tackled the problem of management skills so as to make sure you conduct a profitable business, having an insurance in the business,” he said.

He urged deaf entrepreneurs to seek out the background of anyone they wish to employ to supervise their business or project so as to to avoid fraud or misuse of funds generated from their businesses.