3rd Floor, Selous House
368 Msasani Road | Oysterbay
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tanzania has a population of 55.5 million people and the country has sustained high economic growth, averaging between 6-7% a year, over the last decade, positioning it to achieve middle income country status in the coming years. According to the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, GDP in 2018 was 7.0% which was slightly higher than 2017’s GDP of 6.8%.
SMEs have been listed as one of the key pillars in achieving Tanzania’s Development Vision of 2025 which details the country’s long-term vision. It is estimated that Tanzania’s SME sector consists of more than 3 million enterprises which contribute to 27% of overall GDP. The largest proportion of enterprises are in the agricultural sector, and more than half are owned by women.
However, there are some key constraints to SME development. This includes unfavorable legal and regulatory framework, undeveloped infrastructure, poor business development services, limited access to financing, and ineffective and a poorly coordinated institutional support framework. As entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized as a career option in Tanzania, it will be vital that government addresses these market constraints. The number of Tanzanians choosing self-employment, including highly educated, has been steadily increasing since the mid-1990s. To illustrate, the University of Dar es Salaam tracer study of the Faculty of Commerce and Management (FCM) Alumni, found that entrepreneurship was rated second (next only to computer-related courses) among aspects that were very important but not significantly covered in the Bachelor of Commerce program. A survey of final year students conducted in 2004 found that the proportion of those running businesses while studying had increased from 7% in 1997 to 16% in 2004. CEED entered Tanzania in 2017 in partnership with the Argidius foundation and has been actively engaged with entrepreneurs since. CEED has a has a strong history working with agribusinesses providing the knowledge and support that help generate long-term social, economic and environmental sustainability for SMEs throughout the value chain.