The project aims at providing an effective digital marketing platform to enable the selected SMEs in Tanzania to promote their goods and services especially in export markets.
Currently, only 15-percent of Tanzanian micro, small and medium enterprises have access to the internet, falling behind other markets in the world (South Africa 30 percent), India (40 percent), (Europe/ North America 65 percent) hence keeping Tanzanian SMEs at a competitive disadvantage.
“We believe that this will go a long way to help them access export markets as the vast majority of Tanzanian exporters can’t reach these buyers for not having an online presence,” said Louis Accaro, TPSF director of membership services.
The 1000 candidate firms will be selected in strategic sectors such as agri-business, gemstones/ handicrafts, tourism and manufacturing, he stated.
The pilot project will seek to ensure that a minimum of 50 percent of the selected SMEs are owned or managed by women.
Africa 118 Managing Director Ezana Raswork said each SME will be provided with a Digital Starter Pack which includes a professionally designed website, professional photography, customized domain name hosting and search engine optimization, to maximize exposure in export markets.
He said the Digital Starter Pack will be provided free of charge for the first year. Thereafter it is anticipated that the entrepreneur will bear the cost of annual renewal as the increased business generated by the website will more than offset the cost.
“Based on the experience with a similar programme, it is expected that the SMEs will create at least 2,200 jobs based on the growth they will generate,” he added.