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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

City councils, wards challenged to construct incubator hub for SMEs

4th February 2013

City councils and wards in the country as well as Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) have been urged to build incubator hubs in their respective areas to enable small and medium entrepreneurs to operate their businesses more effectively.

The call was made on Friday by Dina Bina, Managing Director of a Dar es Salaam based firm-Dina Flowers Co Ltd on behalf of other women entrepreneurs who attended the SMEs development training organized by TWCC with support from UN women organisation.
She said small and medium entrepreneurs in the country need incubation centers because at the moment they don’t have infrastructures needed for what they produce.
Dina told Lesley Reader, Environment and Livelihoods Advisor for UN Women  Tanzania who was the guest of honour to confer certificates to 30 SMEs who attended a five-day training on international trade requirements and protocol, negotiations and business contracting, traceability, barcode, quality standards, negotiations and business contacting with support from UN women organization.
“Right now we have one incubation center at SIDO, but it is very far and the majority of SMEs especially up country can’t access it due to transportation cost,” she said.
On the other hand, women entrepreneurs have called on the government to waive tax on packaging materials.
Highlighting on other support which they need from UN Women, she said although they have come up with vast knowledge and learnt different things during the training, they still need more course especially on business plan preparation and presentation.
“We need training on business plan and how to present them to banks because the majority of SMEs who are in informal and formal sectors in the country have little knowledge on how to write and present business plans to financial institutions,” she noted adding that most of them normally have to hire a qualified person to do it for them.
According to her, most of SMEs especially in rural areas are not aggressive enough in seeking knowledge on business plans from experts as a result they continue doing businesses unprofessionally hence preventing them from moving forward quickly and even secure loan facilities or capital in banks.
They were also trained on value chain development, building confidence once they want to enter in international trade negotiations, traceability, and advocacy on affordable finance.
Dina also told women entrepreneurs that partnership between SIDO and TWCC is very important to facilitate the development of SMEs within the country.
“As UN Women organization we have chosen TWCC to provide training to women entrepreneurs on those issues after observing trade barriers they face while crossing borders for business trips,” she said.
She urge women entrepreneurs to use the knowledge obtained during the training and train others to help Tanzanian entrepreneurs benefit from what they produce, create employment and alleviate poverty in their families.


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