Project Tanzan – Stichting Sengerema
Minor International Entrepreneurship & Development 2017
On November 3rd on behalf of the Sengerema Foundation, we will go to Tanzania for three months to help local companies with their development. At the Sengerema Foundation, young people receive training, loans and 3 years of guidance to start a business. Over 800 young people have already completed their training at the foundation and more than 200 have started a business. But once the company is actually on the market, there are still many areas for improvement. This is where we step in. We have defined our project on the basis of a marketing process.
The image describes a marketing process as it should look like in an optimal and ideal situation. But in our project, located in Tanzania, the optimal and ideal marketing process does not exist for small companies. The young entrepreneurs of the small businesses are just starting out and do not have all the professional skills yet. So in each phase of the marketing process improvement is required. We will explain these improvements by describing the marketing plan and all the different phases.
In our case, the marketing plan begins with ‘Plan’. During this phase the idea is developed. The young entrepreneurs have a plan to start a business and what products they want to sell. Most of the work is done on paper in this phase. Writing strategies and scenarios will help the entrepreneur give more insight in the business.
The next phase is ‘Implement’. The young entrepreneurs need money to fulfill their idea. Thanks to Foundation Sengerema and money raised by us, they can rent money at low interest rates. This is made possible by the micro credit they have set up.
The next three phases; ‘Measure’, ‘Optimize’ and ‘Research’, have not been applied in the marketing process of small businesses in tanzania yet. After the product has been designed and the raw materials have been purchased, the product is produced and then launched on the market. Thus, hardly any products are tested before they are launched. Moreover, improvements are hardly implemented and there is no research done to customer behaviour. Our task is to implement some improvements here.
We have discovered that improvement is possible in the cooperation between small businesses. So far, there is hardly any. This is because entrepreneurs do not realise and sometimes also don’t understand what the benefits of the cooperation could be. These include:
We want to achieve this through a tight schedule that we will perform during our stay in Tanzania. This will consist of several extensive business visits in the first few weeks. By doing this, we learn about and discover the business life in Africa and what the standards and values are. We will focus on the taylor/sewing segment of the market and carpenter/woodworkers segment. Next, we will make a selection of motivated companies and with them we will perform brainstorming sessions. Based on these brainstorming sessions, we will go deeper into the topics and will continue brainstorming. This will create different ideas how we can improve businesses in Tanzania with young entrepreneurs. In the end, we will work towards an improvement plan and eventually implement the improvement plan. Whether the outcome of the improvement plan will ultimately lead to better cooperation is still unknown. Our goal is to promote and improve the business community of small businesses in Tanzania, so the young entrepreneurs can take independently in the long term.
Rating in the state claim that one major business constraint is inefficient government bureaucracy. It’s a common practice for companies to make payments to speed up bureaucratic processes. Bribes have to be paid to get things done, making it time intensive and cumbersome dealing with permits and licenses. these kind of environment scares away investors hence reducing industrialization and development. We will be working with business owners who are used to the ‘normal’ ways of doing business, which undoubtedly will have corruptional elements involved. As much as we would like and will try to avoid anything related to corruptional activity, there will be certain things that we won’t be able to control or have a say in. A lot depends on the situation there where we will experience first-hand how extreme the corruption may be.
The young entrepreneurs. We want to do this by setting some goals. Together with Jeroen Vegt our coordinator in Tanzania we first determined the areas that can be improved. The businesses we are going to work with can be improved in the following areas:
- A more effective business
- A sustainable business
- Affect the mindset of the entrepreneur in a positive way
- A successful business, also for the long run
PERIOD 1: Business visits
PERIOD 2: Visit two particular businesses
PERIOD 3: Introduction in brainstorming
PERIOD 4: More detailed brainstorming, Selected group
PERIOD 5: Writing an improvement plan
PERIOD 6: Implementing the improvement plan
If we’re able to stick to the planning we made beforehand, we’ll be a part of the beginning of the implementation of the improvement plans. However, we do realize that this could also not be possible, and that a lot of our schedule will be determined by and adapted to the Tanzanian (business) lifestyle. It is very important that after we’ve written the improvement plans, that there are also carried out. Our agreement with Stichting Sengerema is that we write the plans, if we’re lucky we can experience their launches, and then they will take it over from us and continue with the project. Stichting Sengerema keeps in touch with all of their entrepreneurs and monitors their progress and businesses. Keeping in contact with the entrepreneurs is a crucial part of our project, considering that it could be quite tempting for them to fall back into their previous ways. For any group that would continue with this project after us, this could be very disappointing.
In the years that follow, hopefully the knowledge and mindset we’ve introduced to the business-owners will have been spread by them and by Stichting Sengerema to more business-owners. It could be possible that the students that work with Stichting Senge-rema after us, can introduce new knowledge and business-ideas, or continue with our bigger picture, namely creating small industries.
On November 3rd, 2017 we left the Netherlands to start our project in Misungwi, Tanzania. Our main objective was to create small industries and help local entrepreneurs to improve their businesses. We created a course in which the entrepreneurs would come up with unique improvements for their businesses. After discussing with Jeroen Vegt, we focused on three groups: the carpenters, the welders and the tailors. This form of social entrepreneurship was done in a sustainable way by providing knowledge about brainstorming and financial support in the form of a loan.
The main focus of the project was to help local entrepreneurs improve their business. The project can be divided into three main tasks: analyzing the business climate in Misungwi, generating ideas to improve businesses and providing capital to realize these ideas. Because of our study, Industrial Design, we were familiar with all different kind of brainstorming methods. After analyzing several methods, we decided to use the SWOT-analysis during the brainstorming sessions. The SWOT-Analysis analyses the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of any given situation. After explaining this, we continued with introducing how to make How-Tos and the use of a Morphological Chart, so that the entrepreneurs learned about creating new solutions to their already existing problems and combining these solutions into concepts.
In these sessions the entrepreneurs were encouraged to be creative and use their imagination to generate ideas.
The other focus was to create small industries. Coming together and exchanging knowledge and experiences has inspired these men and women to take the will and enthusiasm they already had and bring change to the economy of their town. By bringing together almost every carpenter, tailor and welder, working in Misungwi, these business-owners were able to share their knowledge. During these sessions they all communicated with each other and made agreements to come together more often to talk about marketing, pricing of the sales and so on. The group of carpenters were able to create a union and register at the government to come together every month by means of financial support given by Project Tanzan.
In the Netherlands we raised money for the entrepreneurs to realize their improvements. Before the minor started we used several methods to gather sponsors. This fundraising was done through social media, and the participation of a charity-run of 10 km. We reached over 1500 people and raised €3345,82. With the help of the foundation we raised a total amount of €4845,82. In the end six entrepreneurs were able to realize their ideas and over thirty carpenters were able to participate in a union.
Project Tanzan is pleased to have been given the chance to work together with the Sengerema Foundation and give them the means to expand their courses with a brainstorming masterclass. In the future, students will start the program with one year of training. After finishing they will start their business and have two-year time to produce a well-developed business. After these two years a masterclass, created by us, is given by Allan Jackson to the entrepreneurs on how to improve and further develop their business.
Project Tanzan is extremely proud to be a part of a movement that has brought hope and change to Misungwi and its people.