MEDA, in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, worked with men and women small entrepreneurs (SEs), small growing businesses (SGBs) and lead firms in the manufacturing, agriculture, and construction sectors. Through the SSBVC project, it grew their businesses and increased their contributions to rural economies in the Arusha, Morogoro, and Mtwara business areas of Tanzania.
SSBVC is an acronym for our Strengthening Small Business Value Chains project. Our SSBVC project partnered with 30 lead firms and competitive businesses that are market-driven, profit oriented, and sustainable in the Arusha, Morogoro, and Mtwara business areas of Tanzania.
The goal of the SSBVC project was to improve the business performances of SEs supplying goods and services to lead firms and improve the business performance of SGBs supplying goods and services in response to market opportunities. The SSBVC also improved the rural business environment to facilitate sustainable enterprise development.
Through the SSBVC project, 22,500 men and women SEs and 225 SGBs grew their businesses in the manufacturing, agriculture, and construction sectors. As a result, they also increased their contributions to rural economies in Tanzania.
76% of Tanzania’s population relies on agriculture and agro-processing, which makes it highly vulnerable to weather shocks and changing commodity prices. Due to the lack of knowledge and infrastructure to develop and implement new agricultural technology, environmental shocks can severely damage the living standards of Tanzanians.
Tanzania is a diverse country of around 61 million people with a steadily growing economy. It has sustained relatively high economic growth over the last decade, averaging 6-7% a year; yet, businesses and entrepreneurs struggle to meaningfully contribute to the economy. Small businesses and entrepreneurs lack access to market information, new and environmentally sustainable technology, appropriate financial products, and face a strict regulatory environment.
SSBVC’s lead firm approach worked through established and growth-oriented businesses to create and sustain business ecosystems. Through these lead firms, the project reach not only facilitated growth (infrastructure, technology, formalization) for these businesses, but their whole supply chain – from small entrepreneurs to expanded customer markets. Over the course of this project, SSBVC: