Tanzania, with its estimated population of 56.3[1]
million citizens has 13 million[2]of them living below the poverty line. The government efforts to expand access to social services like education, etc., have been undermined by their declining quality as the population grows. This had opened a significant gap to the competence levels of the formal workforce and micro and small business management capabilities throughout Tanzania.


Thus, despite prior knowledge acquisition that can be secured from pre-primary and secondary to tertiary schools, the curricula are not sufficiently integrated with relevant entrepreneurial content and methodology. The question that remains to be answered is to what extent academic entrepreneurship education enhances the graduates’ ability to identify business opportunities and to thrive under complex market conditions. It is a common cry, also among the interviewed graduates, that university courses do not prepare them to face the challenges in business practice.[3]

Therefore, while there is an eminent need to improve the outcomes of employment, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial training programs in Tanzania, there is also a need to develop entrepreneurs who would be able to navigate in the local business environment and improve on the current challenges of:
  • a) ineffectual learning facilitators from the national school system;
  • b) lack of mentors, trainers, and speakers from the local market/trade associations;
  • c) near absence of student-centred learning materials including a limited number of entrepreneurship training materials appropriate to the local context; and
  • d) inadequate community support.
This could be done by working with a “triple helix” approach[4], which advocates the engagement of participants through focused approach by local NGOs, partnering with funders to improve the competency levels of participants, especially tertiary graduates in Tanzania, and not negating the support from their communities.

Makutano ya Wajasiriamali, a non-government organization, having served as a training hub from Mbeya for the past 2 years is experiencing a high interest of participants seeking knowledge in formal employment and entrepreneurship capabilities. While on the other hand, our survey across employers and micro and small businesses (markets) associations cited the incapability of people seeking opportunities. Hence, we have developed the Kuwezesha Project which objectives include reducing the mismatch due to incompetence by 15% with verifiable data to show our progress.

It is proposed that the Kuwezesha Project will be a mobile training hub and will cover 30 universities throughout Tanzania to benefit the hard-to-reach participants, and will involve trainers, speakers, and mentors from the formal and micro and small business sectors as part of our team. The Kuwezesha Project will create network nodes in each visited tertiary institutions to be monitored form our office at Mbeya under the supervision of training professionals and the project funding partners.

Goal & Objectives

The goal of the Kuwezesha Project is to enable at-risk tertiary students in Tanzanians with skill disabilities to improve the quality of their livelihood by building competencies to become employable or be able to start micro-businesses of their own. This goal will be pursued through the following objectives:

  1. To conduct entrepreneurship training through workshops, hackathons, debates, exhibitions, and competitions to stimulate and foster meaningful, associative, and active learning methods.

    1. To alleviate the mismatch between literacy levels to formal employment requirements and intrapreneurial capabilities in Tanzania’s formal business environment.

    1. To expose the students to local opportunities, laws, regulations, principles, and other government interventions in informal employments to encourage entrepreneurship and assist them in set-up including providing basic legal services advice.

  1. To engender the required skills necessary for employability and entrepreneurial competence through mentor-placements to alleviate lack of soft and hard skills, and labor market information system to surmount the practical issues in the Tanzanian MSMEs environment.

  1. a. To coach domain-general and specific skills on formal employment and basic entrepreneurship activities.

  1. b. To foster competitive skills, choice of appropriate technologies, and to take advantage of other factors that are unique to the Tanzanian context.

  1. c. To tutor them on contractual obligations with regards to entrepreneurship value-chain business systems to grow beyond reliance on informal ties.

  1. To foster access-to-market symmetries that will benefit from the disruptive potential of innovation-based entrepreneurship

    1. To introduce and coach entrepreneurship on environmental conservatism, tourism, archaeological history, and indigenous traditions, culture, and games sectors.

    1. To teach mobile technology service and repairs entrepreneurship skills through on-the-job learning.

Since 2018, we have been piloting the Kuwezesha Project with a concentrated group of participants with these skills deficiencies and have seen dramatic improvements with most of the students increasing their soft and hard skills competencies. The Kuwezesha Project provides students with access to mentors from formal and MSME backgrounds, along with training from specialists.

Having seen measurable success, we are now seeking to expand our Kuwezesha Project to address this need in 30 tertiary institutions throughout Tanzania. Our proposal requests US$ 122,962.84 in funding over a period of 24-months to equip our resource room and provide for the logistics and exercises mandatory to improve participants’ skill sets.

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[1]https://www.focus-economics.com/countries/tanzania
[2]https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/tanzania/overview
[3]Mwasalwiba, E., Dahles, H. and Wakkee, I., 2012. "Graduate entrepreneurship in Tanzania: Contextual enablers and hindrances"
[4]Etzkowitz, H., 2003. “Innovation in Innovation: The Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government Relations”. Social Science Information September, 42(3), pp. 293-337.