The need to train their personnel came as a move to equip livestock and fishery keepers, vegetable farmers and food processors with skills that would enable them to improve the quality of business and services that they are currently offering.
Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) executive secretary in Mwanza Region told The Guardian recently that currently, the SMEs assessments as well as their mapping have been carried out in the region so as to identify enterprises that qualify for the training.
“At the moment we are selecting SMEs which meet the criteria to get training that would enable them to access new market,” he said.
The training will be offered to SMEs through a five-year Tanzania Local Enterprise Development (T-LED) project launched by VSO and CUSO International based in Canada.
VSO is an international development charity that works through volunteers and has been privileged to work with the government for the last 50 years.
Their mission is a world without poverty in which people work together to fulfil their potentials, he said, noting that VSO brings people together to share skills, creativity and learn how to build a fairer world.
During the implementation, VSO experts will train SMEs in business, marketing, finance, IT and how to improve technologies they use.
On training areas, capacity building will be provided through Canadian volunteer experts who will be mobilized by Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) to work alongside identified local SMEs and strengthen their capacity to achieve ‘approved supplier status’ with mining and other sector partners.
The training will help SMEs enhance confidence of female entrepreneurs in negotiation skills in the market, increase access to new markets opportunities and create new jobs.
Besides, there will be an innovation centre that will be dealing with all SMEs issues to help them improve what they offer in- terms of business and service.
He called on all women and men who will be selected to get training to use this opportunity because the overall goal of T-LED project is to ensure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for women and men in the region.
“As TCCIA we express thanks to the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for providing a total of 23bn/- through CUSO International to help SMEs in Tanzania create jobs and boost the economy,” he said.
CUSO international is a non-profit international development organisation that works to improve the lives of people living in poverty and inequality through the efforts of high skilled volunteers, collaborative partnerships and compassionate donors.Their work is driven by authentic engagement with and accountability to the people and communities involved.
Elaborating on T-LED project, he said, T-LED project has been launched in Tanzania to enhance the ability of SMEs to access appropriate financing to grow their businesses and increase women’s capacities to develop and grow sustainable SMEs.
Also the increase the capacity of local business development partners TCCIA, SIDO and TWCC to deliver market-driven and gender responsive services to SMEs as well as improve the knowledge of market opportunities, business practices and technical knowledge of SMEs.
According to him, T-LED is an innovative project that aims to create jobs for Tanzanians by ensuring that small-medium enterprises (SMEs) capitalise from investments in the agriculture and extractive sectors.
In line with the Tanzanian Government’s aim to grow and provide greater opportunities for Tanzanian companies, local SMEs under T-LED will be assisted in overcoming existing barriers of capacity, access to technology and access to finance with particular attention paid to the additional challenges faced by female headed SMEs.
T-LED will guide SMEs in improving their knowledge of market opportunities, business practices, technical knowhow, and increase women’s and men’s capacity to develop and grow sustainable SMEs,” he said.