The success of a business depends on many things, capital being one of them. Despite facing a number of challenges, small scale business owners in Dar es Salaam say that obtaining capital in order for them to start a business is the major hindrance for them to excel.
A resident of Kinodoni, Frank Fadhili (20), who works as shopkeeper says, “the big challenge for me is capital. I would like to have my own shop but I don’t know where to get the funds.”
When asked about a bank loan he said, “I never even went into a bank once. By the way I believe a person like me a bank cannot trust.”
But that was not the only obstacle for him, he has a deep seated belief that small scale business owners cannot afford to return the loan with the interest set by the banks.
Frank said, “If I get loan and I fail like many others, I may end up in jail or something that I don’t have the courage to face.”
On his part a shopkeeper owner, Erick Sirai says he had to endure a lot to get what he called a ‘little capital’.
“I cannot disclose how I did get the capital but I had to do this and that to get the little capital I could to invest in this shop,” he explained.
He went on to say, “the capital is always insufficient, especially if you are impatient.”
Erick says “apart from capital, another challenge or reason that makes most people’s business to perish is poor management. This is very crucial for the success of any business.”
A food vender Amina Abubakari (28) says, “the working environment is tough, we have insufficient working tools. All this is because of low capital.”
Amina believes that such situations affect the efficiency of their business.
Another challenge that Amina faces is that she has not registered her business, claiming that the bureaucracy and high cost of the process is what prohibits her from registering.
She is asking the government to help better the business environment and improve the access to loans, but she couldn’t explain how.
A shoe maker, Hssan Juma (45), says that despite the challenges he faces daily in his business, such as having no permanent working place, and the shortage of capital, he is able to run his activities effectively. But this won’t last.
“I don’t know when I will get a place to do my job peacefully, because I keep moving here and there to escape the authority.”
Leonard is a recent Mass Communication graduate from St. Augustine University of Tanzania. He is currently attending a human rights reporting skills workshop in Dar es Salaam. He aspires to be a full-time human rights writer and is always available to empower the voiceless and ordinary Mwananchi (citizen) with accurate and reliable information. Leonard strongly believes that empowerment is always possible!
Zenorine is currently upgrading her skills in human rights reporting in Dar es Salaam. Her goal is to become an activist and reporter of marginalized people.