According to a national survey of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of December 2012, there are more than three million small businesses in Tanzania. Some of the most significant challenges citied by MSMEs include insufficient working capital and insufficient access to markets. Business development services, or BDS, are professional services designed to help businesses improve their operations and overcome challenges. That same survey, however, noted that the biggest obstacle preventing business owners from using BDS is a lack of knowledge about who is providing those services.
In an effort to address this challenge, the Feed the Future Tanzania Enabling Growth Through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE) Program, a USAID-funded activity, has developed Bizfundi,an innovative online digital platform that links small and medium enterprises with business development service providers and trainers who can help business owners improve their performance. Examples of areas of support include business planning, cash flow management, marketing, bookkeeping, business formalization,and applying for a business loan.
The platform is simple to navigate:after creating a user profile, a business owner can search through a database of pre-screened BDS providers to easily find those with the expertise they need in the area where they are located.Business owners can contact the BDS providers directly within the Bizfundi platform. Ultimately, the platform will also enable businesses to link directly with financial institutions that provide credit and other services needed by small firms.
The overall aim of the Bizfundi platform is to enable business relationships to flourish among MSMEs, business service providers and financial institutions. MSMEs are better able to access the information, support and financing they need, while BDS providers and financial institutions will have access to a larger network of potential customers.
To access Bizfundi, visit www.bizfundi.co.tz or download the Android application by searching for “Bizfundi” in the Google Play Store. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +255-22-2600540.