Social Enterprise Development

The capacity for change exists within local communities, so we support people to harness their skills, knowledge and experience

We empower people and communities to take control of their own projects, harnessing local knowledge and experience. Building on existing education structures and skills, the aim is to increase self-reliance through development grants to small organisations that demonstrate the capacity to develop into thriving businesses. We want to build long-term resilience – both for those children and young people we sponsor in education, and their wider communities.

It’s tough to survive as an enterprise in Africa. They need to be robust in order to improve the resilience of the societies in which they operate. Entrepreneurship provides a valuable outlet for young people’s ambitions and developing these skills helps young people adapt to changing circumstances and thrive in the face of economic and other challenges.

Social enterprises and entrepreneurs can also help to tackle social and environmental problems. Their work brings different people together to trade in products, services and information, which strengthens the resilience of their communities. We are helping invest in skills and energy in these communities, first through seed funding for small, locally-led organisations then by providing development funding that supports them as they grow. This helps build the kinds of enterprise initiatives needed to make them sustainable, viable operations.

Project Highlights

Empowering Youth Education Through Agriculture (EYETA)

Founded in 2014 by Rabson Mwang’onda, Empowering Youth Education Through Agriculture (EYETA) is a community-based NGO based in south west Tanzania. We supported Rabson through secondary school and his aim is to give other orphans and vulnerable children better chances in life through education. They now have 52 students in both primary and secondary school who receive uniforms, books, shoes and sanitary towels, and have recently started supporting Ilembulla Inclusive Primary School which has a residential facility for disabled children. 

We are also providing business support for the separately managed EYETA Microfinance. This generates income by providing loans to clients in the Dar es Salaam and Pwani regions, a proportion of which is allocated annually to run their educational projects. In 2020 this support amounted to TZS10m (£3,200), helping them develop a robust business and organisational model so they can expand the micro-finance business, social investment in orphan education projects, and community savings and loans projects across Tanzania.

Tanzania Deaf Skills Forum (TDSF)

Advocating for reform of policies and practices so that education is more accessible, inclusive and beneficial to deaf children, TDSF was founded in 2018 by Lugano Janken. Losing his hearing to meningitis as a child, his education was supported through our orphan programme and he graduated from Kyela Polytechnic College before completing further training in Nairobi. TDSF aims to facilitate communication, provide sign language teacher training, improve learning environments, increase awareness by deaf people of sexual and reproductive health, and deliver deaf skills entrepreneurship programs. Since its launch they have delivered sign language training to 128 deaf students and 12 teachers, while 25 deaf young people have received vocational training and are now earning a living and contributing actively to the development of their communities. 

We are working with TDSF to research different enterprise models so they can start to generate income of their own, reducing their dependency on UK donors and developing a model that expands their programme to empower deaf people in business.

Case Study

Dominica Mapunga

23 year old deaf student Dominica is being supported by the Tanzania Deaf Skills Forum on a tailoring course at Moravian Vocational Training College in Kyela. After completing her primary school education she was working as a housemaid in Dar Es Salaam, but remained eager to pursue a career in fashion. Looking for support to continue her training, she was put in contact with TDSF Director Lugano who gave her advice and helped her apply for a bursary. She is still passionate about fashion, and dreams of starting her own business so that she can provide employment and training to other young girls and woman.

“It’s a great feeling to finally be on the right path and learning the skills I need to work in fashion. I dream of being successful enough to be able to employ as many girls as possible, especially those with hearing disabilities like me, so they can support themselves too.”

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