Women Empowerment Project Tanzania (Project Report)
Empowering Arusha Women to Improve Their Micro-Businesses Performance Through a systematic Micro-Financing Procedure.
Why do African women decide to enter into businesses without enough business knowledge? Or why do we see nowadays in Africa women struggle more than men particularly in Tanzanian business circles? Probably the answer to this question can be explained with different reasons and among those unfavourable cultural values significantly contribute. In Tanzania for instance and in Arusha particularly, dominant male oriented cultures put males in superior positions to enjo y aspects like respect, education and decision makings and comparatively leaves women deprived.
Polygam y and poverty are phenomenon of concern. As the result of polygamism many homes are left without care of fathers. While poverty is a major constraint in African societies leaving more than 70% of Tanzanian population unable to afford three meals, families without joint parental commitment face even more challenges of care taking. Among the challenges, children are not taken to school and families do not get enough food to feed on. Experience of women being left without support of husbands compel them to go out and work to feed families. They are going out to struggle because they want to take care of the families, feed children and take them to school while their fathers have gone to marry other women.
Therefore, women find themselves in the struggle even without having enough business skills and as the result they end up running informal businesses with little start up capitals. Such common informal businesses that women in Arusha run are, selling vegetables in the market place; selling cooked foods; vegetable gardens cultivation; selling smoked maize along the streets; selling of chapati, donuts and samosas; etc. Because of unplanned intervention into business activities, no wonder that many women in Arusha hate their husbands and it is uncommon if they would not. The above explanation tells why women seem to struggle more than men due to family responsibilities. There must be a way society can intervene and assist the struggling of women.
View of the Central Market place in Arusha where women engage with informal businesses with little technical competencies in businesses.
2. PROJECT OBJECTIVE
To positively change lives of women engaged in informal businesses in Arusha through a system financial support so that they become economically able to support their families.
3. DECLARATION OF THE PROBLEM
The term “women-empowerment” is not uncommon among many audiences from policy makers to users. Women empowerment is also common in religious campaigns as well as MDGs and the banking sector uses it profitably. Women are therefore being observed as an important aspect of economy, cultures, spiritual growth, family development and entrepreneurship. If this project is successfully implemented and manage to reach target women who face critical business challenges in Arusha, then it will have developed a new approach in “spotting and coaching technique” for entrepreneurial empowerment. The approach intends to change lives of women both financially and technically in their business operations. This is a problem that a club is committed to solve.
Women struggles doing businesses, transporting food stuff using public means
4. APPROACH TO THE PROPOSED SOLUTION
In order to solve problem above declared, it is important to develop a differentiated financia l supporting image away from those approaches alread y known b y public and have challenges. It is a different micro-financing technique because this project does not intend to make profit but entirely intends to help the needy women. This means there is a need to develop an implementation road map. No woman b y virtual of culture can give her information unless there is an authority to justif y reputation of the mission. It means with recognition from the government Rotary-Club project team is likely to get reliable information during data gathering exercise. Therefore, the following will need to be observed;
i. Government Backup: Club project team needs to get papers (like a permit to speak in with women in public) from District Commissioner (DC). DC should help to introduce the club in the market place business society. Through this introduction, market place leadership will provide access support to the women and women will as well gain confidence with the mission and give their information.
ii. Spotting the Needy: This exercise is necessar y because project mission is to identify those businesswomen who are in more need than others who are well to do in business. Therefore, scientific spotting mechanism needs to be developed. Tools like questionnaires (see sample % attachment); physical presentations and face to face interviews will be helpful tools. To increase chances of reaching the “Needy”, more than one location must be adopted preferable one is at the Central Market -Arusha and the other will be through the church “Holy Family Parish – Njiro”
Going wherever women gather for their small businesses and conduct conversations, example near the bus stands are places women would sell cooked foods
iii. Coaching: The Club’s leading assumption to achieve project’s objective is that, in order for women to be completely empowered they need three things, 1. gain technical business skills, 2. access financial support, and 3. help them to change outlook of the business location in order to be more motivated after empowerment. To achieve the three things IT IS NOT always necessary that money be heavily involved that is why club is confident to work on the three things reasonably.
iv. Measurables: Below is a step by step implementation procedure to ensure that project is implemented smoothly;
Step 1: Scientific analysis of questionnaires to spot the “Needy” and shortlist
Step 2: Shortlisted women will prequalify and be invited for face to face round table discussion
Step 3: Further vetting takes place and trainee selection is performed
Step 4: Training provided to select first level beneficiaries (10) and second level (5) beneficiaries (FINANCE; BOOK KEEPING; ENTREPRENEURSHIP, CUSTOMER CARE)
Step 5: Group formation of 5 members and develop constitution and leadership responsibilities
Step 6: Discussion with proposed beneficiaries to fine-tune group financial expectations and mutual agreement of terms and conditions
Step 7: Official introduction of women to the RCAMM leadership for financing and contract signing
Step 8: Monitoring and evaluation teams declared and follow-up start
5. DYNAMICS AND PROJECT PERFORMANCE FORECAST
The dynamics of empowerment project need to be explored; the following may be part of it;
i. Project Funds Requirement
Giving money as financial support can be tricky to spot the “Need y” and make it a risky business. Reducing that risk is the purpose of this project by actually reaching the women in a step by step manner. Project starts small with pilot of 10 women in total and 5 in the waiting list all of whom selected from a step by step procedure. 10 women will be in two groups but if funds will be made available three groups of 15 women will be appropriate to pilot. Final figure of funds required by each group will be determined by a combination of individual agreed financing support.
Grace period of the group will be determined b y the longest retirement period of a group member. This is an incentive for those group members who have short retirement period to reuse the funds while waiting for their fellow member to mature her obligation. This is a unique feature of this “spotting and coaching module”. Interest rate is designed to be between 9% -12% to cover follow up costs and coordination matters. Assumption of average financial expectation per woman is between $500.00 and $1,000.00. Contingent figure for proposal development, spotting and coaching assignment and monitoring may take a maximum of $1,500.00. Documentation will follow through normal club procedures.
ii. Financial Security and Monitoring Plan
In order to manage the project in a professional manner, women shall form groups of 5 and register themselves. During group formation, groups will develop their own constitution to abide to financial rules and commitments before club approves them as legal and official. Ward leaders may be involved to cement accountability in case club finds it necessar y since information of ward leaders will have been collected through questionnaires right from the beginning. Leaders will be invited to attend handover ceremonies as witnesses to the Rotary Club. Money will be advised to be deposited in women accounts day after handover ceremonies.
6. EXPECTED OUTCOME
With the commitment of the club’s project team and the effective spotting and coaching technique project is looking forward to achieve its best in a professional manner. Based on the nature of causes that compel women to struggle and security measures imposed on them for finance supporting it is anticipated that women those who will qualify for this financing will be empowered as per Club’s expectations.
Rotary Club of Arusha Mount Meru (RCAMM) President Dk. Teckle H (second right), Rtn. Prof, Ijumba (right) and Rtn Anna Rweyemamu (left) during a visit to NM-AIST. Send left is the Vice Chancellor NM-AIST Prf. Mwamila.