PM: Don’t be afraid to borrow

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has challenged youths and women to access loans and capital for business from lending institutions, and quickly reminded them to honour resettlement obligations.

“Our youths should not be afraid to borrow from commercial lenders to get capital. The loan can be a useful tool for development,” he said while citing CRDB Bank as one of the lenders with a variety of loan products for youths and women.

The Premier aired his challenge during a seminar “CRDB Bank Investment Day” held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, which coincided with the launch of the CRDB Bank Foundation.

PM Majaliwa challenged youths and women across the country to tap the potential of the CRDB Bank’s iMBEJU programme, which is geared to improve their commercial innovation.

The iMBEJU initiative aims to provide training, advice, and enabling capital for youths and women.

The programme, championed by CRDB, in collaboration with Information Technology Commission (ICTC), and the Science and Technology Commission (COSTECH), started with a seed capital of 5bn/-.

The Prime Minister said that iMBEJU is centred on providing a solution for start-ups, young people and women by building capacity on the ability to run business profitability, especially through strategic training to be provided in collaboration with ICTC, COSTECH, plus other training for women’s empowerment programmes through groups.

“The truth is that many startups failed not for the lack of capital but rather on business management,” Mr Majaliwa said adding.

“Financial institutions are ready to finance these startups but the risk of failure is high for young businesses due to lack of proper managerial skills…and CRDB has seen this and came up with a solution–the iMBEJU programme.”

The PM also used the platform to task government institutions to give opportunities to young people, who come up with innovations that can solve society’s challenges. He asked the Ministry of Works to work with the designers of the system to guide and control vehicles on roads.

He said the government continued to use various loan schemes to provide loans to youths and women and for example, through the Youth Development Fund a total of 1.88bn/- has been disbursed in 2022/23 for 85 youth projects.

The Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Mr Nape Nnauye, said the iMBEJU programme will stimulate the establishment of new products and services that are compatible, while tackling the real needs of wananchi.

“Youths and women should come up with innovations that will be able to compete in and outside the country,” Mr Nape said during the event.

Zanzibar’s Minister for Construction, Communications and Transport Dr Khalid Salum Mohammed encouraged young men and women from the Isles to make good use of the programme, since the Revolutionary Government strives on improving the business environment to stimulate creativity and growth of startups.

CRDB’s Vice-Chairperson Prof Neema Mori said the programme is part of the bank’s efforts to stimulate development and build economic inclusion for youths and women.

“The iMBEJU is part of sustainable programmes that will be implemented through CRDB Bank Foundation which has been given the responsibility of designing, establishing and managing sustainable empowerment projects in the community,” she said.

CRDB CEO and Managing Director Abdulmajid Nsekela said that the iMBEJU major goal is to enable many young people and women to develop their businesses to excel financially while contributing to economic growth.

The CRDB Bank Foundation, Director General, MS Tully Esther Mwambapa, said the foundation will provide capital for those who have undergone training and graduated under iMBEJU.

“The applications will be submitted through the websites of ICTC and COSTECH, while women will go through our branches,” Ms Mwambapa said.

CRDB Bank in collaboration with the ICTC and COSTECH will also be providing business operation training and despite targeting women and youth businesses in various sectors but the emphasis is on technology innovations.

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