Dar es salaam, March 10th: The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation last week launched its long awaited web portal and a mobile phone application which will be used by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to access useful information, knowledge and business development services.
Speaking during the launch in Dar es salaam TPSF Executive Director, Godfrey Simbeye said that the System would aid MSMEs attain their goals.
“It is a unique system comprising of a web portal and mobile application which are designed to enhance financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills among MSMEs as well as improve access to financial services and markets . The Information resource can be accessed from any hand held mobile device, smart phone, tablet and computer,” he said.
The information system is designed to be a one stop centre for a wide range of information that small businesses require to thrive. “The information system is user friendly, easily accessible at a click of a button and will cater for both users with internet access and those without internet access. It focuses on capacity building and has rich functionality for unique user experience.”
On his part Financial Sector Deepening Trust Managing Director Sosthenes Kewe said that the main reason for coming up with this MSMEs information portal and USSD application emanate from a 2009 FinScope research which reveals that 12.6 per cent of entrepreneurs in the country have computers and access to internet, 13 per cent have secondary education, 68.9 per cent have mobile phones, 30 per cent have smart phones and 92.4 per cent listens to radio.
When inaugurating the system minister for Industry Trade and Investment Charles Mwijega said that the system will second government’s initiative of providing education to MSMEs concerning business formalization, tax compliance and other legal procedures which will in turn boost revenue collection.
“Also this system will help to reduce knowledge gap of different financial related issues which is good for prosperity of entrepreneurship in the country,” he said
Mr. Simbeye said the information system will reduce knowledge barriers affecting access to and use of financial products and services by households and MSMEs, build capacity of financial service stakeholders by having access to opinions of MSMEs through online forums. This would help to formulate policies, financial products and services that better cater to their demand, supplement online business development services, provide MSMEs with a single resource centre comprising of valuable, relevant information, training materials and tools of trade. It will also facilitate the creation and development of new business ideas and opportunities, provide an avenue for financial service providers to freely capture market intelligence about consumer’s demand and will provide access to a database of various needed business information.
“Enhancing financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills for MSMEs and related financial stakeholders will create knowledge-able consumers who will demand products and services that meet their short- and long-term needs, while financial services providers will compete to create products and services that best respond to consumer demands. Furthermore, regulators and policymakers will use information from online forums to create an enabling environment for both parties to mutually benefit from each other. This Win -Win scenario comes about from knowledgeable loaners being able to best select the best product for them and their business, making them e less likely to default on loan repayments allowing financial institutions to lend more increasing their profitability” he said.
In addition to all this the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation will also conduct radio programs and training workshops engaging various entrepreneurs and other stakeholders throughout selected regions in Tanzania. The campaign aims to raise awareness on the Information system and advise entrepreneurs on how to start, and grow their businesses while also advocating on proper enterprising.