Do Entrepreneurship Projects work?

EI Tanzania has been working with the Tanzania Assemblies of God in Mwanza region since 2017 on Ukerewe island in 8 villages, 3 of which started in 2020. The goal of the project is to train people on principles of entrepreneurship skills and Bible lessons related to business, this reached their spiritually and physically needs.

Our research has shown that providing the tools for sustainable financial growth is more beneficial than simply giving money. Along with teaching business skills, we are discipling people with biblical truths, laying a foundation of biblical integrity in both life and business. By working hand in hand with our groups of participants, we also have ample opportunity to share the Word of God and disciple people in the foundation of a loving relationship with the Creator.

People in these areas have inadequate entrepreneurship skills to run a small business. These projects act as a learning opportunity to practice their teachings and be successful. It is projects like these that are vital in developing countries. Groups are required to submit business proposals to acquire a small loan with minimal interest to start their business. Some of the business developments that have come from this project include beekeeping, agriculture, livestock and selling of crops. In visiting the groups each month, the group trainers can monitor their progress, encourage them, provide feedback, and ultimately make disciples

Are there challenges?

Any project will have its challenges. For example, we have seen a delay in loan repayment due to unforeseen natural calamities such as floods, and the current global pandemic. Covid-19 has resulted in delays in how we conduct training and starting of new groups. To address these issues, grace periods of loan paybacks have been granted and additional monitoring and evaluations have occurred.

The Bible is the foundation of the project together with teaching people on seeing the power and ability of God to help His children succeed. Also, we include training on entrepreneurship principles so that participants can better understand entrepreneurial business practices.

Have there been successes?

There have been great successes too! We are proud of the Bundilya group which only started in July 2020 and have already started paying back their loan. Individual members are reaping benefits, like Neema Thomas, who shares her testimony. She has benefited from the project after she used her dividend from the group to her personal small business and received more profit. She quotes “I thank God for this project, I have got profit and bought 4 chickens, 2 are now laying eggs, also I am able to support my family like buying for children school materials, paid tithe and was able to buy more bricks for building our matrimonial house’’.

Back to the initial question, do entrepreneurship projects work? Yes, we can see from this project that people in rural viallages have been impacted and are making a difference. Families are becoming self-sufficient and learning about the grace of God and His love through seminars and Biblical teachings.

We would like to acknowledge and thank Elisha Maganga, an Agriculture/Entrepreneurship Trainer who facilitates this project and monitors its success. Elisha is a Tanzanian National who is married and expecting a child.

I thank God for this project, I have got profit and bought 4 chickens, 2 are now laying eggs,” Neema , Tanzania

Bundilya Group pictured below: Neema, quoted above is part of this group which started July 2020, and have already started to pay back their loan.

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