DAR ES SALAAM, MAY 29― Three budding Tanzanian women entrepreneurs have won funding to advance their businesses through the Gender Lens Investment Showcase, as the platform (Gender Lens Investing) continues to support women and girls make a real difference in their businesses.
The three emerged top at an event held by New Faces New Voices in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Salome Mauki of Dresa Modern Butchery, Agatha Kyogero of Agatha Agribusiness Shop and Emelda Mwamanga of Relim Company Limited were among eight female entrepreneurs who had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges, accelerators and investors.
The event provided a platform for women entrepreneurs to raise their business profiles and engage with investors for possible investment and business support.
“I feel encouraged and motivated by the decision of the judges to pick me as one of the winners. This is proof that others are seeing the need that I saw when I started my business to sell fresh beef, free range poultry products, fresh fish, domestic and a variety of barbeque and food spices,” said Salome Mauki who operates her business in Kigamboni District of Dar es Salaam.
Salome, who emerged top, hopes to scale up her butchery production and increase her market share from the current 32 per cent to 55 per cent.
Installing new modern machinery, increasing hiring additional staff and purchasing two refrigerated distribution vans are among the plans that she has to scale up.
The eight entrepreneurs were invited to participate in the showcase following their attendance at a one-day Pitch-Ready Training Workshop held in Dar es Salaam last month.
The workshop trained 25 female entrepreneurs on how to improve their businesses and investment readiness, keep proper financial documentation, understand the investor landscape, prepare suitable pitch decks and pitch to investors.
“As New Faces New Voices, our overall aim is to enable these female entrepreneurs to improve their investability through the trainings and coaching at the workshop and improve their visibility and interaction with investors at the showcase,” said New Faces New Voices Kenya Chapter Chair Andia Chakava.
“We have received great feedback and look forward to empowering even more,” Chakava added.
The entrepreneurs were encouraged by mentors who have successfully navigated the entrepreneurial terrain, such as Naike Moshi, Founder and Recruitment Director of CV People Africa Talk, and SEAF Agric Facility Managing Director Ezra Musoke.
Access to finance remains a major constraint on female-owned businesses.
The U.S. government is committed to increasing trade and investment in East Africa, and to providing opportunities for female business leaders to further engage with the investment community and demonstrate the benefits of female-focused investing.
New Faces New Voices (NFNV) advocates for women’s access to finance and financial services. The network, founded by Graca Machel, aims to bridge the funding gap in financing women-owned businesses in Africa and to lobby for policy and legislative changes.
The overall objective of the network is to advance the financial inclusion of women by bringing more women into the formal financial system.
The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) boosts trade and investment with and within Africa by deepening regional integration, increasing the competitiveness of select regional agriculture value chains, promoting two-way trade with the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and facilitating investment and technology that drives trade growth intra-regionally and to global markets.