Fostering Social Enterprise in Tanzania #PartnerHighlight

Alexandra Nemeth

Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Storytelling at MovingWorlds

“Social entrepreneurs identify resources where people only see problems. They view the villagers as the solution, not the passive beneficiary. They begin with the assumption of competence and unleash resources in the communities they’re serving.”

– David Bornstein, Co-Founder of the Solutions Journalism Network 

Fostering social entrepreneurship is a proven way to catalyze social change. But as David Bornstein points out in the quote above, resources are needed to turn grassroots ideas into scalable solutions. That’s where social enterprise accelerators like Anza come in. Based in Tanzania, Anza offers local social entrepreneurs the capacity-building support, access to affordable capital, and relevant networks they need to turn their innovative and life-changing ideas into scalable social good businesses. 

We sat down with the Anza team to learn more about their work, and how hosting an experteer helped build internal capacity to bring even more innovations to life.

Mana Microfinance founder with volunteer Darren
Experteer Darren with Mana Microfinance Founder

What problem does your organization solve?

It’s hard to access life-changing products and services in Tanzania. At Anza, we believe that businesses provide a scalable and sustainable way of driving social and economic development, and we exist to help those businesses grow. Anza works with entrepreneurs working in healthcare, education, renewable energy, agriculture and WASH (water, sanitation, & hygiene) so they can scale their solutions to challenges in these sectors. 

How does your organization create social impact?

We help entrepreneurs grow and scale their social enterprises so that their life-changing products and services can reach even more people. We do this through a combination of capacity-building, access to capital, and community connections.

The Anza Accelerator program is an 8-month intensive journey that builds the capacity of entrepreneurs through strategic consulting and hands-on skills training so that they are ready to take their businesses to the next level.

The Anza Growth Fund provides capital leases to our entrepreneurs, giving them the necessary funding and tools they need to expand their businesses. Our financing is more affordable and flexible than other forms of capital available to our entrepreneurs in Tanzania.

In order to provide a physical space for entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and create, in 2010 Anza founded Kili Hub, the largest co-working space in Tanzania. Anza entrepreneurs are connected to each other and to a global network of experts & mentors, building a community to drive catalytic change.

Volunteer Darren with social entrepreneurs outside Anza accelerator hub
Experteer Darren (center) with social entrepreneurs outside of an Anza Hub

Why did your organization choose to host an Experteer?

It’s so valuable to be able to pair Experteers directly with Anza Entrepreneurs participating in the accelerator program. Each of our entrepreneurs is paired with a Business Development Advisor, but with the additional support of an Experteer we can achieve so much more. The entrepreneur gets intensive support on a specific topic relating to the Experteer’s area of expertise, the Experteer gets to apply their skills in a new market, and the knowledge transfer builds the capacity of the Business Development Advisor to offer support on that topic in the future. 

Volunteer Darren mentoring Tanzanian social entrepreneurs
Experteer Darren (center) mentoring Anza entrepreneurs

How did the experteer add value to your organization?

Darren, the Experteer we hosted, was able to support three Anza Entrepreneurs: 

  1. Mana Microfinance, which is providing affordable financing to community group projects
  2. Silverleaf Academy, which is providing affordable, high-quality education for pre-K and primary school students
  3. Capricorn Technology College, which is providing vocational training to improve participants employability

With Darren’s IT expertise, all of these businesses now have new systems set up which they are fully trained in, which have streamlined their work and will allow them to do more of what they do best: bringing high impact products and services to low and middle-income Tanzanians. [Editor’s note: To learn more about Darren’s experience working with Anza entrepreneurs, check out his experteering story here]

What advice do you have for finding and working with experteers?

Set a plan, and make sure you hit the ground running. Placements can go quickly, so a few days of shadowing in the first week of the placement will support the experteer to understand their role and the organisation quickly. [Editor’s note: We agree that planning and scoping projects is a key element of a successful placement! Learn more about the matching and planning process for organizations here.]

Anything else you’d like to add?

Darren really got involved in local life in Arusha and with the Anza team. He settled in so easily. The more you can get involved with the team and the town, the easier it’ll be to adapt to life in a new town and country. 

We’re grateful to have impactful organizations like Anza in our global network! If your impact organization could also benefit from pro-bono support, register on our platform to start connecting with skilled professionals.