TANZANIA Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) has partnered with a Canadian firm, Africa 118 to launch a digital programme that will support 1000 selected small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to promote their business.
The Africa 118 Managing Director Ezana Raswork said in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that the digital programme, ‘Digital Starter Pack’ will focus on increasing connectivity, developing ICT skills and promoting innovation.
“The project aims to provide an effective digital marketing platform to enable 1000 selected SMEs start a website that will promote their goods and services leveraging digital platforms,” he said.
He added, the pilot project would target to ensure that a minimum of 50 per cent of the selected SMEs are either owned or managed by women.
Statistics show that only about 15 per cent of Tanzanian SMEs have website behind other markets in the world like South Africa with 30 per cent, India 40 per cent and over 65 per cent for Europe and North America.
He said the 1000 SMEs will be selected in strategic sectors namely agribusiness, gemstones, handicrafts, fashion, travel tourism, manufacturing and service industry.
He said the digital programme is important for promoting SME businesses in the global markets because 80 per cent to 90 per cent of buyers in developed markets conduct research online before making purchase decision.
On his part, TPSF Director of Membership Services Mr Louis Accaro said the digital starter pack would be free in the first year and then the entrepreneur bear the cost of annual renewal as the increased business generated by their website offset the cost.
“Each SME will be provided with digital starter pack includes a professionally designed website, professional photograph, customised domain name and hosting and search engine optimisation to maximise exposure in export markets,” he said.
On top of the digital programme expected to kickstart next month, he said TPSF in collaboration with Africa 118 conducts digital skills training to over 10,000 SMEs countrywide.