Business advisors trained on new borrowing service

20Mar 2018
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Business advisors trained on new borrowing service

Accessing formal finance is commonly cited as a key constraint for small businesses in Tanzania, but a new service called “Mkopo Kocha” has been introduced to address this operational challenge faced by many general enterprises in the country.

ENGINE Programme consultant Matthew Hanna stresses a point during the business advisors training in Morogoro last week. The financing solution being promoted by the US government-funded programme seeks to make general enterprises creditworthy. Photo: Courtesy of iesc

The financing solution being promoted by a US government-funded programme seeks to help the businesses access credit from formal lending institutions.

Behind the credit readiness initiative is Feed the Future Tanzania Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE) Programme that is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Last week the ENGINE programme trained 22 business advisors in Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya and Zanzibar to help small businesses qualify for loans from financial institution as part of the endeavour to address the borrowing challenge.

According to a statement on the training, through “Mkopo Kocha” service, advisors guide business owners through a structured, step-by-step process that includes an assessment of the business, a discussion of their financial goals and working together to improve recordkeeping and financial planning to make the business a more attractive loan candidate to financial institutions.

Businesses that complete the process are then linked to a network of financial institutions.

service offers small businesses in Tanzania a clear path to improving their chances of qualifying for a loan and a way to connect with financial institutions positioned to meet their needs,” said Scott Bennett, Deputy Chief of Party for the ENGINE Program.

The statement said that the business advisors in Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya and Zanzibar have already completed the training and are now offering the credit advisory service to small businesses. Speaking of the training, one of the participants, Anganile Mwakaba of Desk Tech Company Limited in Mbeya, said the training has helped her realize that there is a big gap between [small businesses] and financial institutions.

“With the knowledge gained from the ENGINE training, I will be able to help my clients develop a sound and attractive business plan that will definitely give them a chance to obtain business loans from lenders,” she noted.

Businesses interested in the “Mkopo Kocha” service can find participating business advisors on the Bizfundi digital platform at www.bizfundi.or.tz.

Feed the Future is the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increases incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and under nutrition.

USAID is the lead US Government agency working to end extreme poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.