Strengthening micro-businesses in Tanzania

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Southern New Hampshire University
Like many countries, Tanzania sees cooperatives as an important tool for economic and social development. SACCOS (Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies) are actually identified as a major actor for the development of Tanzania but important challenges are facing their business members. During this project, a community needs assessment was conducted among the WAT SACCOS community, a Savings and Credit Cooperative Society located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and it was identified that their business members lack business management knowledge and skills. A group of business people, members of WAT SACCOS, was chosen as a partner for the project design and implementation: the Zalirotage Group. The solution identified by the stakeholders consists of developing a training tool in a specific element of the business management, the marketing activities, and to train business people. This project ended in December 2006 with a successful demonstration of the effectiveness of the participatory approach in project design and implementation. A training tool was developed and is now operational, the Zalirotage group members are trained, their management skills are improved, they have put to good use the knowledge acquired by starting a small group business, a strategy for the replication of the training to other members of WAT SACCOS is actually in planning, and the Zalirotage Group members have started to support the management of a small dispensary of their community, also member of WAT SACCOS. (Author abstract)