Women entrepreneurs, civil society activists urged to use social media

14Oct 2021
Sabato Kasika
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Women entrepreneurs, civil society activists urged to use social media

DUE to intense market competition globally, women have been advised to use social media and other modern technology outlets to advertise their goods and services.

TGNP facilitator of a business women and civil society leaders’ meeting held in Dar es Salaam last week, Sadaka Gandi making a presentation. Photo: Correspondent Sabato Kasika.

Facilitator of a Tanzania Gender Networking Program’s women in business meeting held last week in Dar es Salaam, Sadaka Gandi said women who own businesses or companies which provide service or produce goods, need to invest in promotion and advertising.

 “Generally speaking, advertising or posting on internet is an easy and inexpensive way to reach more people with our goods and services. Women should make use of the social media by discussing business ideas and promoting their products and services,” Gandi said.

She told hundreds of women from the civil society and private sector that in the globalised world, social media provide the best outlets for entrepreneurs to exploit. Gandi also told her peers that the web also contains vital information on how people can run their businesses successful plus online classes offered by experts.

“On the internet is where someone can find answers to the issue you want to know, so what you need to focus on is obviously proper use of the internet rather than putting things that cannot assist you to move forward,” she advised.

She further noted that in the world of today, doing business digitally is also convenient as consumers are located anywhere in the world. “We need to start thinking about selling to the world market and not only confine ourselves to the domestic market,” the TGNP Facilitator urged.

Social media groups have challenges

One of the participants, Dr Dinna Mbaga said there are many challenges in the use of social networks, and that there is need for business women to know them and find solutions to avoid being short-changed.

“Some of the adults see social media as a luxury while many others who are overwhelmed by family responsibilities, don’t have time use the internet and thus miss out on business opportunities,” Dr Mbaga said.

Mbaga’s observation was backed by Adelina Muluge from Voice for Women with Disabilities Institute of Tanzania, who noted that some married women who are prohibited by their spouse to use the internet, need to change by convincing them.

“It’s about time for more sensitization to be given to spouses on the importance of using the internet and social media in doing business bearing in mind that the world has now become a village,” Muluge said.

 Opportunities on social media

Another participant of the TGNP meeting, Hellen Bulugu, said it is important to have most businesses operated digitally currently due to the fact that, markets are unlimited. "What is needed is to focus on the proper use of the internet by not posting products and services that we are selling,” Bulugu said while warning those who think that use of the internet is a luxury.

She said explained that proper use of You Tube, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms can help businesses grow rapidly but also help build capacity of entrepreneurs as they interact with experts located anywhere in the world.

"The biggest problem lies in choosing what to post on the internet, but now that we've learned, it's clear we can take a step forward with our business," she stated.

Online trading

According to Lilian Mmari from Haki Elimu, doing business online is more than just photographing and posting products online. “You need to focus on creating and promoting your good and services to the market first by showing them the value and quality of such things,” Mmari suggested.

She gave an example of a clothing vendor who needs to prepare a video or write an article about the styles available, colours and the various models on offer,” she said. “Online business is enormous industry globally currently which we need to join,” Mmari noted.

In remarks at the meeting, TGNP’s senior official, Joyce Mkina said the internet and social media allows women to easily be connected on a single platform where they can share knowledge and skills on online business potential.

“In this discussion, we have identified various weaknesses that can be discussed and get solutions through a single platform,” Mkina said while noting that through such a social network, members can also sensitise each other on other issues such as registration of businesses, taxation and access to credit facilities to invest in expanding such businesses.