Enhancement of capital mobilization skills for rural economic development projects : case study of WACOD - Women in Kisarawe District, Coastal Region, Tanzania

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Southern New Hampshire University
Poor people, especially poor women in Tanzania have very limited access to financial services. They do not have financial capital. Social capital is also not well organized and utilized. Additionally they have limited ability and skills to find ways of accessing financial opportunities to meet their plans. Because of that, their economic and developmental projects tend to fail or become indefensible1. This Project focused, in particular rural women because experience has shown that they are hard working and good planners. But they lack capital and skills because of socio-economic backgrounds. They do not own assets that would have been sources of capital. Moreover, saving from their produce is almost impossible because they produce little. For them to survive economically, they have to opt for funds from other sources. Banks have conditions, very difficult for them to adhere to; in fact they lack potential assets which would have been used as security for loans from the Banks. The remaining option is to fundraise from donors the process which is also cumbersome to them. They have to convince donors. Their level of literacy is very low. Therefore they hardly secure funds from donors. This Project at hand, which took WACOD - Women Organization of Kisarawe District, Tanzania as a case study has explored alternative means of mobilizing social and monetary capital from within the community itself. It has been found that, sustainability of rural development groups does not necessarily depend on financial resources. Secondly, locally available means of mobilizing capital, if utilized effectively shall sustain economic development projects in rural areas. Some of the alternative capital mobilization strategies explored are Harambee, Upatu, Umoja and Kopa na Lipa Traditional Schemes. Harambee means public solicitation of human and financial resources. Upatu is self-saving or rotational saving credit scheme. Umoja means merging of business ventures and then create a pool or basket fund for contributions. Kopa na Lipa means informal way of borrowing and repaying basing on fraternity relationship. (Author abstract)