Introducing the BizRaiz Program

Grumeti Fund is committed to working with the local communities surrounding the concession to create income-generating opportunities through the Enterprise Development Program. Since its implementation, the Enterprise Development Program has been successful in training more than 900 entrepreneurs  through its Village Learning and Guiding Programs. The Village Learning program focuses on a hands-on approach to changing outlooks and building relationships with the local entrepreneurs, where the Guiding program focuses on Intensive one-on-one business support.

Last year, Grumeti Fund and its partner Raizcorp realized there is a critical need for additional services to bridge the gap between the Learning and Guiding programs. Hence, the BizRaiz program took shape. The goal of this program is to provide opportunities for continued development for graduates from Village Learning who have established their businesses but are not yet ready to enter the Guiding program – in essence, to continue “to lift (Raiz) business (Biz)”.

BizRaiz training sessions are held once a week for 90 minutes for three consecutive months in villages surrounding the Bunda and Serengeti districts. Twelve entrepreneurs have been selected from each participating village. During the training each entrepreneur has an individual 45 minute learning session from a Grumeti Fund Project Officer, followed by a 45 minutes group discussion on their current challenges and experiences.

Nyamase Mangari Nyitika is among the active participants of the BizRaiz program at Mugeta Village located in the Bunda District. As an entrepreneur and a mother of 3 children, Nyamase started her tailoring business in 2019 with one sewing machine and 50,000 TZS (approximately 20$). After graduating from the Village Learning program, Nyamase felt she still needed support from her Grumeti Fund Project Officer.

“My business was still not stable when I graduated from the Village Learning Program. It was challenging to stabilize it but I remained positive and optimistic while using lessons learned from the Village Learning Program to grow my business. In 2020, I managed to buy land where I built my office, I was able to add one more sewing machine and started offering modern fabrics to my clients. When I received a call from the Grumeti Fund Project Officer regarding the new BizRaiz program, I was so happy and I knew that I was one step closer to achieving my dreams of growing my business.”

At the end of February 2021, the BizRaiz program started, bringing new hope to local entrepreneurs under the facilitation of a new Project Officer Pamela Selasini.24 local entrepreneurs enrolled from 4 villages of Tingirima, Mugeta, Misseke, and Bonchugu.

“I am grateful to the Grumeti Fund for enrolling me in this program. I am learning and practicing everyday ways to manage and grow my business. The most important things about this session is sharing experiences and the opportunity of applying the methods we learn. The weekly feedback is essential. I never thought of expanding my business. The profit I made I would use to feed my family and educate my children. These sessions have taught me to save and I have managed to open a savings account in my local bank. I’ve learned to seek out and try new opportunities, for example I now have a  tailoring student which has helped expand my business.” – Nyamase Mangari Nyitika

Nyamase has now registered her business after being encouraged by her Project officer, Pamela.

Her business capital has increased from 50,000 TZS (approximately 20$) and 6 customers a month to 350,000 TZS (approximately 150$) and serving up to 20 customers a month.

‘‘I am still attending the BizRaiz program. This week we learned about how to bring in more customers and the importance of customer feedback. I look forward to our training weekly. My goal this year is to bring in more customers by being up-to-date on modern fashion trends and fabrics. I would like to employ another person and add tailoring students as well”. – Nyamase Mangari Nyitika

In 2021, the Enterprise Development Program through BizRaiz aims to reach 144 individuals in 8 villages