Jeremy meets the entrepreneurs

13th May 2016

“The work that Raleigh International has done in Tanzania in the last three years has been inspiring.  Over 1,700 volunteers have taken part in the programme and over 150 start-up businesses have received funding. More volunteers are set to get involved and many entrepreneurs are flocking to take part in the programme.

I was keen to learn more about the impact of Raleigh’s livelihoods programme, so I decided to meet some of the entrepreneurs who are currently working with the volunteers.

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Entrepreneurs from the village of Ikando. From L to R: Steven, Joyce, Lah, Godi, Sara and Mendrad

Leah is an entrepreneur from Ikando who is currently establishing an artificial insemination business. She is working to grow her business and is adamant that she could not have prepared a business plan without Raleigh.

Joyce has a milk-selling business.  She already owns a cow and wants to improve its productivity from 7 litres per day to 15 litres per day so she can sell more produce.  With Raleigh’s support, she is hoping to purchase better quality animal feeds which will improve milk production and further her business.

Steven is setting up an animal feed business.  For him the programme has helped him to develop his ideas and gave him the knowledge to set up his own enterprise.

None of these businesses are entrepreneurial in the way we might think of them in the UK.  Rather they are lifestyle businesses that give people the hope and confidence so that they can create a better standard of living for themselves and their families.

After meeting these inspiring young people, I decided to head to the town of Mlevela to meet some of the entrepreneurs who have already been through the Raleigh programme.

Upon arriving in Mlevela, I was introduced to Alex and Yohana.  Both were awarded loans of TZS400,000 (about US$200) last October to set up animal feed businesses.  Being an entrepreneur is all about being dynamic and adapting to the ever-changing market, so since receiving their loans Alex and Yohana have decided to change tack and join forces to form a motorbike spares and repair business.  Alex is the mechanic and Yohana is the salesman.  Currently they have about 20 customers including a number of milk collectors.

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Yohana (L) and Alex (second R) have started a motorbike spares and repairs business because of Raleigh livelihoods

Alex and Yohana are very supportive of Raleigh’s livelihoods programme and are particularly enthusiastic about the finance training which helped them build their business on solid foundations. They are both supported by dairy farmers who act as mentors and are hopeful about the future of their business.  Alex and Yohana want to expand their enterprise over the next 2 years by employing up to 10 young people, who will be trained as mechanics and then purchase their spares from Alex and Yohana. These two are certainly on the right track.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Raleigh livelihoods programme is making a difference in Tanzania.  All of the entrepreneurs I met with are very supportive of the programme and the number of businesses being established is encouraging.  Time will tell how these businesses develop and the amount of wealth they create.  But I have a feeling there will be many more Raleigh success stories to be told.”

This blog has been written by Jeremy Fish, a Raleigh International trustee and alumnus.  If you are a Raleigh alumnus and would like you contribute to our blog, please email alumni@raleighinternational.org 


Alumni Raleigh Expedition Tanzania