Tanzania, Mwanza region
The entrepreneurship project in Mwanza, Tanzania is a collaboration between Emmanuel International Tanzania and Tanzania Assemblies of God church. It aims to help the poor overcome poverty by teaching biblical business skills and loaning groups money to start a business. Teaching includes biblical truths, laying a foundation of biblical integrity in life and business. It also lays the foundation for a loving relationship with the Creator.
We started at the end of 2017 on the Ukerewe island in 4 villages: Mtoni, Nansole, Halwego and Hamkoko. In 2020 we extended the project to Magu disctrict in 3 other villages: Lugeye, Bundilya, and Magu. We have now further expanded into 4 more villages in the Misugnwi district: Usagara, Ukiriguru, Ipanga, and Kasololo.
EI has established entrepreneurship projects with the aim of seeing people reached spiritually and physically, as well as economically empowered. The churches have the responsibility to oversee the progress of the project to ensure that it is a blessing in their communities and people will glorify God.
I am a born again Christian, a Tanzanian and resident of Mwanza region. I am currently working in a holistic mission as an Agriculture/Entrepreneurship Trainer, at the Church Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) through partnership with Emmanuel International, in Mwanza region.
Read more in our January 2018 prayer calendar.
The Bible is the foundation of the project, together with teaching on basic principles of entrepreneurship. As grass-roots entrepreneurs, our goal is for beneficiaries to understand the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, to write a simple business proposal, business planning and management, leadership in business, loan accessibility and financial management.
We also include monthly teaching on discipleship so that beneficiaries grow socially, physically, and economically. We aim for them to also be growing spiritually through hearing the gospel of the kingdom of God. We do monthly field visits, monitoring and evaluation to measure results and reporting.
The villages in the Ukerewe, Magu and Misungwi districts in the Mwanza region were found to be a good place for an entrepreneurship project due to many grass-roots entrepreneurs lacking the access of capital and loan accessibility.
Beneficiaries in these areas have little to no entrepreneurship education. Additionally, these areas are favourable for farming activities since it is around Lake Victoria. On the spiritual side, most people in these villages have a need to know and worship a true God.
The project has faced a number of challenges during its progress:
- Lack of commitment of some loaned groups in repaying their loans in due time.
- Some pastors can interfere with the group loan and cause discouragement.
- Delay in repayments of loans by some groups has led to the slow progress of reaching to other needy people around the partner churches.
- Failure of some group business due to lack of commitment and common goal.
To address these challenges, we did the following:
- We tried a different approach of loaning (Halwego group), that every member of each group is encouraged to access small loan from his/her own empowered group with a loan under their agreed terms and conditions so that she/he should solely do business and repay the loan direct to her/his group and the group return the whole loan to the project account.
- We added some terms and conditions to avoid the pastor’s hand in the loan and encourage accountability: now out of 5 group members, 1 or 2 people must NOT be members of the same partner church.
- We have conducted monthly meetings with the struggling groups to encourage them and served demand notes to some groups which have retained the money for the long time.
- We have empowered four new groups of five members each with entrepreneurship education in the Misungwi district. Out of five members, one is a person with a disability and four must be women.
- The groups learned the basics of a business proposal and requested for loan from which each member of each group could access a small loan for their individual business.
- One group successfully completed paying back their loan and each member remained with a small capital invested in business (the Halwego group). Additionally, two other groups are in a good position of completing to repay their loans (the Magu and Bundilya groups).
- Monthly Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) visits were done.
As we look ahead, we plan to develop this project in the following ways:
- Empower the four new business groups with loans.
- To refresh and encourage each established entrepreneurship group monthly to put in action the business and financial management lessons learned to grow their business.
- Do monthly discipleship with each group.
- Monthly M&E visits with each group and, where applicable, with each individual’s business.
- Add another loan to the Halwego group as they apply for an expansion on their business.
- Start Village Community Bank (VICOBA) awareness seminar to 6 existing business groups.
“I praise God, through this project we have learned how to save money from our income, now myself I have made a local saving wooden box, in it I able to put one thousand shilling every day from my personal income and after a year I will be have over two hundred and fifty thousand shillings. I believe my husband will appreciate and congratulate me!”
Magdalena Joseph from a new empowered group of Ukiriguru in the Misungwi district.
“We thank God, through this project we received initial entrepreneurship training, then we were able to write a business proposal from which we got loaned and started a group business of selling grains, unfortunately, we did not make it, though, were able to make small profits and paid back a little loan. However, we changed the idea from selling grains to cultivating rice. While waiting the rise harvests, we requested another loan and divided to each member of the group to do individual business he/she could. We thank God that from both the rise yields and generated profit of each individual’s business, we have completed repayment our first and second loan, and every member has remained with a capital invested in their businesses.”
Faustine Musita from Halwego group in the Ukerewe island.
‘’I thank God for this project. I have got profit and bought 4 chickens, 2 are now laying eggs. I also am able to support my family like buying school materials for children, I paid tithe and was able to buy more bricks for building our matrimonial house’’.
Neema Thomas, a village woman from Bundilya village in Magu district in the Mwanza region, who benefited from the entrepreneurship project after she had used her dividend from the group small business to her personal small business and got more profit.