MEDA Blog - Stories from the Field

SSBVC: Let's Listen to Local Leaders

Sometimes, you don’t have to recreate the wheel.At MEDA, we do our best to partner with already functioning entities and systems. Why start from scratch when you don’t have to?Our Strengthening Small Business Value Chains (SSBVC) project in Tanzania is one such example. Before we began working in Tanzania, we saw the potential of existing lead firms and decided to support and strengthen the business systems that were already in place and demonstrating how they could improve supply chains.SSBVC aims to increase job creation by sustainably improving the business performance of small, growing businesses (SGBs) and small entrepreneurs (SEs). By partnering with growth-oriented SGBs (lead firms), we work to design and implement programs that have micro and macro effects on the economy.Local businesses are our leaders. We have the privilege of working with locally established entrepreneurs who are willing to partner with SEs and connect them to the end market.On Aug. 19 MEDA had the pleasure of welcoming six members of Canada’s parliament to our SSBVC project. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) heard about the success of our project in Tanzania and came to see the results for themselves.During their visit, the MPs met with Jackma, a sunflower oil processor and one of SSBVC’s most socially minded and advanced lead firms. Jackma is considered an advanced lead firm because it has been working successfully for over a year. Its social-mindedness comes from its interest in integrating women and youth into its business strategy.Georges Ndenga, SSBVC’s regional operations manager, was proud to lead the group through the project’s inner workings and facilitate a discussion with Jackma. Georges addressed questions regarding environmentally conscious farming, the integration of women and youth into lead firms, the qualification process and criteria, and how spending is tracked.Canada has long been interested in partnering with the government of Tanzania to help them achieve sustainable economic growth by strengthening the business environment for start-ups and creating greater access to financial services for entrepreneurs.By partnering with successful businesses and positively impacting their communities, we receive relevant, current information on the local business environment to make informed decisions that serve the community.With funding from GAC and the help of local lead firms, we are reaching out to 250 small, growing business and 10,000 small entrepreneurs!Business women and men in Tanzania know what they are doing. They are knowledgeable, intelligent and effective entrepreneurs who can teach us a thing or two.
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High Commission of Canada Visits GROW

bibeauedit1Ghana has emerged as one of Africa’s economic success stories, with steady economic growth in its agriculture and mining sectors.

Ghana and Canada have had a long and prosperous relationship, with Ghana being one of the first nations in Africa to establish diplomatic ties with Canada. 

On July 8, 2017, MEDA’s Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project in Ghana was pleased to welcome the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Development and La Francophonie to view GROW and share information on the challenges faced by women and girls in remote northern areas of the country.

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