Updated: Sep 29
Krupa Patel, Co-Founder and CEO of Anza, reveals how entrepreneurship will transform Tanzania. Are you an entrepreneur? Are you interested in international business? If so, take a few minutes to watch this video and follow @IHUB on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to learn more from experts in the field.
My older sister and myself co-founded an organization called Anza, which in Kiswahili stands for start, or commence, or begin. Anza really was the beginning of our journey. We came to Tanzania about eight years ago and the core of Anza‘s existence is really a fundamental belief that entrepreneurs are going to transform Tanzania. And it’s going to be entrepreneurs that go forward and create thriving job opportunities for their communities, and it’s going to be and entrepreneurs that drive access and drive opportunities to basic services to communities that didn’t previously have them. So they’re the ones that are going to be creating new health care companies and education enterprises or water solutions through sustainable and scalable initiatives that are businesses. And that’s why Anza is really built around the preface of how do we ensure that entrepreneurs have what they need to really grow, and our response to that is ensuring that they have access to quality capacity-building, access to affordable capital, and then access to communities and networks that ensure that their businesses have the right connections to grow and also the entrepreneur has a community that really supports them.
So Tanzania is a very difficult place to do business. Actually, the World Bank ranked it one of the lowest for ease of doing business. The reason being firstly, there isn’t as much strong business acumen so our direct kind of response to that is us having an eight-month accelerator program. So an entrepreneur comes in we assess their their business we look at their strengths their weaknesses and then we create a 7-month kind of tailor-made journey really addressing those challenges that we found, and in those seven months we have one-on-one consultation we have training. But it’s really, the heart of it is, the one-on-one consultation where we’re able to provide tailor-made support to you as the entrepreneur that’s where in our one-on-one consultation we’d say great let’s understand what are the steps that need to be achieved to really enable you to do that well. Let’s create a marketing plan. Let’s create a pricing structure. Let’s work with your team to really understand what’s the business model around making sure you can do that well. And that’s the Anza Accelerator.
The second is the Anza Growth Fund. So as an entrepreneur it’s very difficult to access any type of capital, especially from the banks. There are really high interest rates of like 25% upwards, and also they request huge amounts of collateral they’re fixed repayment. So the Anza Growth Fund looks to offer something different to ensure that the enterprises that we support do have access to affordable loans but much much lower interest and their flexible repayment. So if you for example are an agribusiness we know that your income is seasonal, so we’ll make sure that our repayment plan has it is pegged towards that as well. Then the third is we run physical co-working communities where our entrepreneurs can have their offices but also we convene other impact organizations.