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Country Highlights

Tanzania: Challenges and Opportunities for Small Businesses

Small businesses play a vital role in Tanzania’s economy, employing over 20% of the workforce. Despite their significance, these enterprises encounter various challenges related to financing, infrastructure, regulations, and technology adoption that hinder their growth and sustainability.

Access to credit stands out as a major obstacle for Tanzanian Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) seeking to expand their operations. High collateral requirements, steep interest rates, and a lack of credit history often exclude many small businesses from traditional financing options. However, the emergence of fintech innovations in alternative data analysis, digital lending platforms, and credit-scoring models presents a transformative opportunity to revolutionize SME financing in Tanzania.

Moreover, many small businesses in Tanzania have limited exposure to digital technologies for essential functions such as inventory management, online payments, and social media marketing. Embracing digital tools more widely can significantly enhance operational efficiency, broaden market reach, attract new customers, and ultimately boost revenues for MSMEs operating in the country.

Cumbersome regulatory and licensing procedures further impede the growth of small businesses in Tanzania. Efforts are underway to streamline business regulations and reduce compliance burdens for MSMEs through initiatives like the Blueprint for Regulatory Reforms aimed at improving the business environment and fostering entrepreneurship.

On the bright side, small companies can capitalize on Tanzania’s young and tech-savvy population for talent acquisition and business growth opportunities. Additionally, they can benefit from the increasing purchasing power of consumers, expanding mobile and internet penetration rates, as well as government programs like SME development funds that aim to support and empower small businesses across various sectors.

While risks persist, targeted policies coupled with increased technology adoption have the potential to unlock the growth prospects of Tanzanian small businesses. Alternative lending models that focus on cashflow-based financing from fintech lenders and crowdfunding platforms are emerging as viable solutions to address the lack of collateral issue. By leveraging predictive algorithms and innovative data sources to assess credit risk accurately, these platforms offer small businesses access to growth capital and working capital essential for accelerating their expansion across different sectors in Tanzania.

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Featured Reports

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