Empowering youth and women entrepreneurs: Key to economic sustainability

September 4, 2019

Tushirikiane Women Group members in a group photo at their project area where they have a pig farm

Women and youth are the most economic dependent people in Tanzania. Empowering this group is very important to advance their growth so that they gain economic independence. To ensure this is realised, UNDP in collaboration with ILO are jointly supporting economic activities for Women (5) and Youth (7) Groups with a focus on access to finance for small scale investment in Kigoma region. The groups are in Kasulu Distirct Council, Kasulu Town Council, Kibondo and Kakonko districts  

In April 2019, the 12 groups went through a two days in-store coaching session to capacitate them to gain more knowledge and experience of doing business better and smartly. Thesession touched on three specific areas; 

1. Business model development 

2. Governance  

3. Financial management. 

The approach used was hands on to ensure the participants understand better through live examples. The sessions were held inside the premises of the group enterprise in order to learn the achievements and challenges faced on the ground. Where possible the coach discussed with the suppliers who were on site to advice on different angles derived from the shared challenges. 

Challenges were noted and solutions proposed to ensure smooth running of their enterprises. This activity is under Kigoma Joint Programme (KJP) on Youth and Women’s Economic Empowerment (YWEE) theme that cuts across multiple sectors to improve development and human security in Kigoma region.  

Groups Testimonies

The beneficiaries testified that the knowledge gained has helped them improve their group and individual businesses, including winning more trust and approval from male counterparts to engage in the group affairs than was before the support.   

“I share the advice I get here with my husband back home; it helps me get permission to attend sessions and sometimes implement the advice I get from my group and sessions to my family” 

The groups expressed sincere appreciation for the support and promised to demonstrate good discipline and transparency in using the grant received to achieve the goals, especially after the coaching sessions. Through the support, the groups have become more known in their communities and many more women and youth are attracted to join.  The Youth Groups have a lot of work to do and expressed their gratitude to UNDP and ILO for providing them the grant that will fuel them to eradicate poverty, hunger and improve their lives.  

Based on its focus and impacts, this intervention is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 1 (SDG1), which focuses on Poverty eradication and Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) focusing on Zero Hunger. 

About the Kigoma Joint Programme 

The programme involves 16 UN Agencies and was developed in cooperation with the regional and district authorities based on developments needs of the region and the capacities of the UN in Tanzania.

It consists of six converging and cross-sectoral themes, namely: Sustainable Energy and Environment; Youth and Women’s Economic Empowerment; Violence Against Women and Children, Agriculture with a Focus on Developing Local Markets; Education with a Focus on Girls and Adolescent Girls; and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Kigoma.  

Kasulu Youth Revolution (Kayore) Group showcasing their products