"Solar Sister, a social enterprise operating in Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria, is dedicated to eradicating energy poverty through the economic empowerment of women. In addition to economically empowering its women entrepreneurs, the business model of Solar Sister also cultivates sales networks built on trust in last-mile distribution methods. While Solar Sister has previously conducted research regarding its many entrepreneurs, it has lacked information on its end customers. In 2016 a research team from Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship undertook survey research with Solar Sister to examine the effects of solar lantern use on users’ health, education, time allocation, household savings, income generation, and increased agency. The research team conducted a 53-question survey in more than 20 villages across five regions in Tanzania, with research assistants providing English-Swahili translation. The data and stories presented here are intended to help illuminate the potential of solar lanterns to improve livelihoods in rural Tanzania and beyond."
"The purpose of this report is to inventory different organizations in Tanzania that could help build local capacity, catalyze, and accelerate SME development and growth. The report includes a contextual overview of Tanzania, which helps to shed light on some of the challenges and opportunities for SME development and poverty alleviation. It then puts into perspective some of the key sectors that have been the focus of enterprise development activities. The report also includes an overview of key donor programs, as they can often stimulate SME-related activities and also provide a sense of where large-scale interventions in the SME landscape are occurring."
"Can television be used to teach and foster entrepreneurship among youth in developing countries? We report from a randomized control field experiment of an edutainment show on entrepreneurship broadcasted over almost three months on national television in Tanzania. The field experiment involved more than 2,000 secondary school students, where the treatment group was incentivized to watch the edutainment show. We find some suggestive evidence of the edutainment show making the viewers more interested in entrepreneurship and business, particularly among females. However, our main finding is a negative effect: the edutainment show discouraged investment in schooling without convincingly replacing it with some other valuable activity. Administrative data show a strong negative treatment effect on school performance, and long-term survey data show that fewer treated students continue schooling, but we do not find much evidence of the edutainment show causing an increase in business ownership. The fact that an edutainment show for entrepreneurship caused the students to invest less in education carries a general lesson to the field experimental literature by showing the importance of taking a broad view of possible implications of a field intervention."
"This research is unique as it is one of few studies that looks at women entrepreneurs from a regional perspective, to assess similarities and differences in how women entrepreneurs are coping with financial and non-financial barriers to growth in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda respectively. The study also establishes how these women currently fund their businesses, explores attitudes to different types of financing to expand their enterprises and reveals the funding gaps and capacity building needs."
"In this guide, we endorse management and governance systems as a key ingredient for a successful and stable business. We encourage SMEs to establish appropriate systems and to avoid the common 'one-man show' approach among them. We show them the relative ease of achieving such a positive development just by making a few changes in how they manage their businesses. To help them, we present best practices and benefits of proper management and governance systems, along with business case studies about their fellow SMEs that have successfully applied them."
"This document presents ENERGIA’s four-year journey to create and upscale womencentric energy enterprises that sell safe, reliable and affordable energy solutions to low-income consumers in underserved areas. ENERGIA works with partner organizations in seven countries in an effort to develop and test new, disruptive business models and approaches that promote women as energy entrepreneurs. This document is a self-reflection, undertaken collectively by the WEE programme coordinator, the partner organizations and the ENERGIA International Secretariat. As a learning document, it seeks to analyse the various strategies with which we have worked in different contexts. It draws out common features of the most promising ones, as well as lessons from efforts that did not go so well, or even failed completely. Since documentation on women’s energy entrepreneurship is only beginning to emerge, wherever relevant, we have crosschecked our lessons with those from women’s entrepreneurship in other sectors."
"Training programmes are popular development interventions that aim to address problems of youth unemployment. This paper estimates the impact of a youth entrepreneurship programme in Tanzania on financial literacy and employment knowledge. Using primary data within a successive cohort design in a community-led programme, the authors employed propensity score matching and fixed-effect estimation methods to assess changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes of marginalised youth. They found strong positive effects of the programme on key intermediate employment outcomes: savings ability, employment confidence and personal finance. The positive impact of this programme supports youth entrepreneurship training programme and non-experimental evaluation methods."
"Current women's economic empowerment interventions are not enough to overcome all obstacles facing female entrepreneurs. The emerging evidence from psychology and experimental economics on agency; mindset, and leadership show that for successful interventions to be transformative, they need to move beyond basic access to financial and human capital and also tackle central psychological, social, and skills constraints on women entrepreneurs.
Emerging evidence from recent studies on different capital-based, training-based, and gender based interventions, using randomized control trials, present promising interventions to support women entrepreneurs. An experimental study in Uganda found that Providing financial capital (i.e., subsidized microcredit coupled with Start and Improve Your Business training module), while effective for men, does not have any impact on female owned enterprise profits. Similarly, a randomized control trial on Tanzania's Business Women Connect program found that while the mobile savings program substantially increased savings, it did not have an effect on female-owned enterprise profits or sales even when combined with hard business skills, such as business management, basic profitability concepts, and record-keeping. Both studies, however, show that loans paired with business trainings as well as improved access to mobile savings accounts paired with business trainings had a positive impact on male-owned microenterprise profits or sales. Thus, a successful women's economic empowerment intervention needs more than only access to financial capital and hard business skills."
"This legal guide provides an overview of legal issues and requirements for impact investors and social entrepreneurs who are entering into business in East Africa. Without a better understanding of the regional context, the legal process can often be poorly suited for specific markets and take months and incur substantial expenses for investors and businesses. Understanding the local legal environment streamlines the due diligence process and improves the ongoing viability, sustainability, and growth potential of investments."
"Rabobank Foundation, AgriProFocus and ICCO Cooperation offer support to agri-food SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa in overcoming some of the most important hurdles to growth and development...The study increases our understanding of the challenges faced by agri-food SMEs as well as those faced by investors and capital funds operating in Sub-Saharan Africa. We trust that this report challenges regulators, donors and potential investors to come up with novel approaches for making critical capital available to agri-food SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa."