Tanzania gets $11m UK grant to train local entrepreneurs More than 750 entrepreneurs will be trained in business planning and management then compete for cash grants. Photo/FILE By MARY JOHN THE EAST AFRICAN Posted Monday, January 24 2011 at 00:00 Tanzania has secured $11.5 million from United Kingdoms Department for International Development (DFID) to help local entrepreneurs grow their businesses and fight biting poverty in the country. More than 750 eligible entrepreneurs will be trained in business planning and management and later battle it out for cash grants to be distributed among 400 winners. The winners will be selected on the basis of them having well developed business concepts for implementation or innovative plans for existing businesses. The Tanzania Private Sector Foundations Business Development Gateway Programme (TPSF-BDG), which is running for the third time, expects the grant to help achieve economic and social justice for all citizens irrespective of gender, race or creed. Adrian Stone, the senior growth advisor for the DFID told The EastAfrican in Dar es Salaam last week that the organisation recognised the contribution entrepreneurs made towards the countrys economic growth and was therefore supporting them so they could open, run and expand their business especially in rural areas. We are building on the success we achieved in the first phase of the programme which includes promoting the culture of entrepreneurship and recognising its contributions towards the economy, he said. He said the BDG competition will strengthen the competitive edge of micro and small businesses in Tanzania by encouraging entrepreneurs in the informal sector, as well as University graduates, to develop their business ideas that will lead to value addition, the development of new products and markets. The facility is bound to have a positive effect on employment, considering the fact that SMEs account for more than 50 per cent of the jobs in the private sector. Growth in small businesses through influx of private equity is expected in the country and will help to steer economic growth. The economy is projected to grow by 7.2 per cent in 2011 from an estimated 7.0 per cent in 2009, due to a strong recovery after the global financial crisis, according to government projections. DFID has set out to make development a national priority and promote it to audiences in the UK and overseas, while fostering a new aid relationship with governments in developing countries. In the first two phases of the programme, a total of 4,500 entrepreneurs participated in the training in which 2,780 won seed grants in both components of the programme, the BPC and BDG. The TPSF disbursed $6.66 million to the winners.