After graduating from Sokoine University with her agribusiness degree, Fatuma Issa Mbaga was determined to put her new education to good use to open an agribusiness. When she first started her business less than a year ago with 70,000 Tanzanian Shillings, she sold one product—tea masala. Recognizing that she needed to diversify her small business, Fatuma sought outside resources to help her expand.
Entrepreneur, Fatuma Issa Mbagar, with her agribusiness products
With the assistance of the USAID-funded Feed the Future Tanzania Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise Program (ENGINE), Fatuma applied for and received a credit or e-Coupon, which subsidized the cost of business development services (BDS). This made additional business development services and training affordable to her. Through this program, she was also introduced to business development service provider (BDSP) SUGECO. ENGINE partners with BDSPs, such as SUGECO, to provide technical expertise in BDS to help small and medium businesses remove key constraints to their businesses’ growth, with a focus on women and youth engaged in agricultural value chains.
Revocatus Kimario, SUGECO’s Executive Director stated, “We teach and show youth their own potential; we don’t provide fish here, we teach how to fish. Once the youth have a ‘can do’ mindset and recognize their potential, technical training can begin. Youth must see and experience to believe so we demonstrate value chains which are dynamic and economically sound. They need to be shown a direction.”
After using her ENGINE e-Coupon, Fatuma expanded her business’ offerings and now carries five products. She now values her business at 700,000 TZS. Following the trainin she noted, “I could not have grown like this without the training that I got from SUGECO where I learned processing, preserving, and how to market, and where I have used the incubator, mill machines, and hot solar houses for drying.” Fatuma now buys raw products such as ginger, cereals, and masala from farmers, which she then mills, processes, packages, and sells at small shops, supermarkets, and exhibitions. Fatuma’s business now earns a profit of 100,000 to 200,000 TZS per month for each product. Fatuma is one of the hundreds of business owners who has benefitted from ENGINE’s e-Coupon system, which links business owners with BDS and technical training. Thanks to these services, Fatuma now harbors a dream of growing her agribusiness further in the future.
Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition.
USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency working to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.
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