Dubbed in Kiswahili ‘Utajiri na Mtaji’ (UTAM), the envisaged six-year based initiatives are projected to commence with a capital of between Sh100m and Sh300m, whereby the loans will be refunded in friendly interest rates.
In his interview to this paper, TCCIA’ s Executive Director Idd Senge said most of small-scale entrepreneurs are crowded out from accessing capital loans from diverse giant financial institutions, hence the need for the establishment of the programme in question.
“Most of the banks are commercially- based, and are rolling–out loans starting from at least Sh500,000 but huge percentage of small scale entrepreneurs are searching for meager loans, starting from Sh100,000, which is considered as a low rate in many banks,” he observed.
Divulging more details pertaining to the programme, he said, in readiness to undertake the programme, they have already prepared special loan forms to be filled with traders who will go after the loans, adding: “As per our plans, the loaned entrepreneurs will be serving their loans on daily basis, at a very small amount,”
Moreover, he said the plan is to develop a special database platform through which the beneficiary traders will be sending their daily payments via mobile money transfer systems.
And he added, in the further perspectives, the vision is to open a special TCCIA Bank in order to stand a chance to support the small traders in the region and the country in a whole.
“If the UTAM programme will went successful, it is our aspiration to open a major bank of at least 3bn/- capital in order to extend our foot holds to many areas,” he expressed.
The envisioned TCCIA’s bank, according to him, is projected to serve the small traders in seven different phases. “To start with, the bank will roll out loans to small scale entrepreneurs women in the capital city, whereby in the second batch, the facility will serve women entrepreneurs in the entire region of Dodoma,” he expressed.
In its third phase, he added, the financial institution will serve small scale traders especially women in all regions in Tanzania, and that, in the fourth phase small scale entrepreneur women, youth and disable In Dodoma region will be served.
“If all goes well, in the fifth and phase, all small scale entrepreneur women, youth and disabled in Tanzania will be served by the bank, whereby, the sixth and seventh phases will see all entrepreneurs in Tanzania and outside the country respectively,” he insisted.
The Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) was established in 1988. It was initiated with the support of the Tanzanian government to strengthen the private sector.
The establishment of the TCCIA was an important step in moving from a centralized, planned economy towards a more open, mixed economy giving full scope to privately owned enterprises and farms.