Trade and Industries minister, Innocent Bashungwa yesterday called on young entrepreneurs to access loans from major financial institutions to boost their businesses.
Bashungwa made the call when opening one-day workshop for trade and agriculture that was organised by Tanzania Women Business Association (TABWA) in collaboration with the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) and Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade) during the ongoing Nanenane exhibition currently taking place at Nyakabindi grounds in Bariadi District, Simiyu Region.
Apart from paying tribute to NBC for its outstanding contribution in provision of commercial loans to women and youth in the country, Bashungwa equally requested financial institutions in the country to work on requests by majority Tanzanians who have been citing tough conditions on issuance loans as a major stumbling block.
“Despite the fact that this country has a large population of women who have big experience and capability to run businesses around their quest to access capital was still low, the minister said, adding:
“What remains certain is that their major source of capital is from financial institutions, but due to hurdles in accessing loans, majority of them find themselves in a trap of borrowing from unofficial lenders that charge them huge interest rates. I commend NBC for issuing loans to women and youth in the country and I equally challenge other large financial institutions to emulate the spirit.’’
Products and channel manager business banking and SMEs at NBC, Jonathan Bitababaje, said apart from financial capacity building programmes as well as efficiency in doing businesses, the bank had put measures in place for offering services as a single centre where all services reflecting all needs in the country are available, with a view to develop entrepreneurship sector especially women.
“In ensuring that the plan becomes successful, NBC in collaboration with other stakeholders including TABWA and Tan Trade has been rolling out business clinics countrywide as well as establishing NBC- Clubs which connect all businesspeople and entrepreneurs by helping them to make constant business trips, acquiring free business advices, a move that aims at strengthening their financial capabilities,’’ he added.
For her part, TABWA director, Noreen Mawala said that readiness for women to access loans was being affected by various reasons including higher interests rates charged by banks as well as lack of collateral because majority of them had no land or houses for collateral in accessing loans.
“We want to commend NBC Bank for their support on this as well as Tan Trade, BRELA, TRA, TBS, TMDA, SIDO, GS 1, and UDSM, among others because they have been working closely with women entrepreneurs in efficient capacity building as well as financial assistance.
The ongoing three days workshop is attended by over 400 entrepreneurs drawn from the lake zone regions of Simiyu, Mwanza, Shinyanga and Mara.