Business Development Gateway (BDG) a programme aimed at strengthening the entrepreneurial culture in the country has given a subsidy of 20bn/- to local entrepreneurs to enable them improve their businesses.
Speaking shortly after an entrepreneurs’ exhibition held at Mwanza Club yesterday, the BDG Programme Manager, Sosthenes Sambua, said that at least 6000 entrepreneurs have benefited from the programme which is been implemented under the auspices of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF).
Up to 400 entrepreneurs in Mwanza received some 1.3bn/- as part of the programme and the government efforts to reduce poverty among its people. Sambua aired the main challenges facing the BDG programme to include the increasing number of entrepreneurs compared to the capacity of the programme to issue entrepreneurial skills.
According to Sambua, a study conducted in 2011 by the Ministry of Industries and Trade indicated that there are four million entrepreneurs in the country. Out of these, BDG has so far only reached 7,700 with the rural entrepreneurs been least reached.
He said that currently BDG, which assists also the informal unregistered businesses, is working in collaboration with Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) to reach more entrepreneurs but that financial constraints are crippling their efforts.The BDG is a Business Skills Development Programme implemented in all 26 regions of Tanzania and works together with local partners in every region. Countrywide service delivery is made possible through close cooperation with a network of local key partners, specialised in business training, consulting, SME banking, enterprise development and business networking.
The initial two year BDG programme started in August 2008 and ended in October 2010. Because the programme was successfully implemented it has been extended for two more cycles starting December 2010 and to end in August 2012. By that time it is hoped to be transformed to a mechanism for developing entrepreneurship and competitiveness.