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16 entrepreneurs win big in  Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


About  16 entrepreneurs and one loan officer, have won Citi Micro-Entrepreneurship Awards for 2017/8,  Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions(TAMFI) has announced. At the same time, Yetu Microfinance Microfinance won the award for most innovative Microfinance Institution (MFI).


The Program in Tanzania is funded by  Citi Bank Tanzania and conducted by TAMFI. WInners were named and rewarded on friday in a colorful event attended by members of the the private and public sector.


The awards programme  is designed in raising awareness about microfinance among micro entrepreneurs who benefit from it.  

About 209 micro entrepreneurs presented their business projects for examination but only 16 won in the  final selection.


This time round candidates from various regions in Tanzania were included, unlike in 2016, when only residents of Dar es Salaam participated.


Over 70 million Tanzania Shillings were  awarded to 16 winners: (1) Overall winner (2) Second winner (3) Third winner (4) Loan Officer of the overall winner (5) Youth Micro-entrepreneur -18-25 years old (6) Woman Micro entrepreneur (7) Disabled Micro entrepreneur (8) Other 10 Micro entrepreneur (9) Most innovative MFI – innovations on products and services, delivery channels, methodology.


The list below of the winners:







ZABRON MBWAGA Overall  winner 7500
ANNEY SEKULASA 1st runner up 6000
LYDIA MAJORO 2nd runner up 4000
ANETH GERAWA Disabled Micro entrepreneur 2000
LUCY KIONGOSI Woman Micro entrepreneur 2000
MOPAYA MADI Youth Micro-entrepreneur -18-25 years old 2000
Emmanuel Lazaro 4 1000
Rose Chacha Loan Officer 1000
 YETU Microfinance  Best Microfinance of the year  2500



Overall Winner

Zabron Mwaga
Business: Seed breeder, based NaneNane Grounds, Njiro(Arusha).

Loan provider:  BRAC Tanzania
*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8

What can you do with Tsh 2,000,000?  That is the amount of capital that Zabron started his business with in  the year 2011. He had conviction that agriculture pays, but he did not want to be just like any other farmer.


Maize is the number one food crop in Tanzania and offers immense business opportunities. So where would be his entry point? He decided to become a seed breeder.  


He started off with maize (OPV), whose demand, so long as you produce quality, is most of the time assured.  Along the way, a good relationship with BRAC Tanzania, has assured him of loans, to expand the business.


Today, his efforts has paid off and he has added into his stable: Tomatoes, Okra,beans and of course diverse maize and tomatoes varieties.   From Arusha he has been able to expand, by opening a branch office in Mbeya. He is able to supply seeds to 11 regions of Tanzania. The loan from BRAC Tanzania has gone along way to enable him upgrade his  business. “I purchased some machines for seed processing,” he says. He now employs his workers on contract basis unlike in the past when they were all casuals. His business has been of great success, which he attributes to  high quality seeds and packaging, coupled with adverts in Television, Radio, Social Media.


He has a Master’s degree in seed production. He has worked as a seed breeder for 15 years. one of the biggest challenge is lack of some vital machinery for his plant. He employees directly and indirectly about 300 people.  After his seed processing unit becomes complete, he plans to start exporting his produce.



*First runner up*

Anney Sekulasa
Business: Designer
Loan provider: K Finance, Dar es Salaam

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8

Designing clothes is something which she loved since she very  young. “I turned my passion for design into a business and a way of life,” she says.


His business is based at Survey in Dar es Salaam. She decided to give the business a try, with all her heart and with a loan from her husband.  She is able to make clothes for men, women and children, bridals, choirs, graduations, thus able to attract diverse clients and she makes sure she prepares the designs herself.

To enhance and grow the business  K Finance gave a loan of four million.  So far, she has 20 tailoring machines but plans to expand to 100 machines.  As an offshoot of the business, she has opened a beauty salon and a milk bar.



Second runner up
Lydia Majoro
Business: Food Processing, Kisarawe,Pwani
Loan provider:  Caritas
*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8

Lydia is a lady of rose with big dreams. She started off as a small scale rice farmer. She bid her time, saving painstakingly   to one day open a food processing plant. To up her income she was also selling lemons and okra. Dreams do come true, today; she has her own manufacturing company.  


Her success comes from hard work and creativity and loans from Caritas, she says. She processes many items such as cashew nuts, sauces, mushroom, moringa products etc
her goods are of high quality and she mostly participates in agricultural shows. Apart from selling locally, she has been exporting to Uganda and South Sudan.  She always ensures her products are available in hotels and supermarkets.

She has been able to employ many youths, make a living as she is the sole breadwinner and provides finances for treatment and care for her ailing husband who has been sick for the last eight years.  She plans to expand the business and get greater returns so that she can seek best medical attention for her husband.


* Best Woman Micro entrepreneur *

Name:  Lucy Kiongosi
Business: Scrap metals/ Bones dealer, Dodoma

Loan provider:  BRAC Tanzania

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


For years she was working as the supervisor of her husband’s business.  But she had a burning ambition to start her own business and be her own boss.  That way she could be able to channel her ideas and energies in to the venture of her own, and the family would have two business running, thus more improved finances.


In the community where she comes from, women are not used to being scrap metal collectors or waste bones collectors.  When she started off in 2013 to collect the waste items, it seemed improbable. But 4 years later, the business is growing strong.

She sells the  scrap metal and bones to processing companies. When she started she was on her own. But today, she has about 10 youths she works with. She does not have to physically go and collect the materials from the fields anymore.  

When  BRAC Tanzania agreed to loan her about five million, she was more than happy.  After investing the amount to expand the business, it has been doing better. She has two collection centres.    Still she faces mounting challenges…. “there are too many taxes” she says, and adds that the next breakthrough that she needs is to buy a truck.  “After that I will open my factory for processing scrap metals and bones.” She has a big dream of producing her own goods, processed final products.


* Disabled Micro entrepreneur*
Anneth Gerawa
Business: Food processing, Mwananyamala, Dar es Salaam
Loan provider:  Presidential Trust Fund
*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


Anneth is hearing-impaired but an upcoming   well performing business woman. Who said disability is inability? For her, it is not. To her the sky is the only limit.   She has been able to bring together and organize other 15 hearing-impaired women. She is the president of their organization.

As a businesswoman, she  processes wine, mango pickle, different sauces and also peanut butter. She has been able to travel to South Africa to showcase  and sell her products. With help of Presidential Trust Fund she has been able to advance and professionally package and label the products. “I have also made a special machine where other people come to process their foods at a fee,” she notes.

She support fellow disadvantaged people by employing them at her facility.  Her biggest challenge is when making presenting and marketing her products. “I have to make sure I am accompanied by an interpreter wherever I go,” she says. Her success is visible as she has a good life and plans to expand the business to other countries.


*Youth Micro-entrepreneur -18-25 years old*

Mopaya Madi

Business: Shoe shiner and Repair, Dar es Salaam

Loan provider:  Vicoba Endelevu

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


Madi is a  graduate who opted to venture into shoe shine business in 2017, contrary to other local shoe shiners we know, who are not that educated.


He works with more creativity and observes high levels of hygiene. The clients chair is also embroidered with posters therefore creating the attention and attraction of many customers.


His mother was the one who motivated him to start saving at Vicoba Endelevu so as to get  a loan to improve his business. He has since opened three branches respectively which has made him buy a car and provide for his family within a span of only one year in the business.

He plans to open as many branches as possible and eventually open a shoe making factory.

*Other 10 Best Micro entrepreneurs*



ComeLord Swai

Business: Eggs,chicken and poultry feed production,

Msata, Coast Region

Loan provider:   Caritas

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


“I started very small– but now I am not so small anymore….,” Comelord Swai says. To him entrepreneurship pays, and big time.


“I was once employed..I wanted a better income…. with the knowledge I had  acquired at my workplace i decided to venture into entrepreneurship,” he says.


Today, he has over a thousand chickens. He sells eggs, chicks, ducks and produces maize flour as well as poultry feeds.   


The secret of his success as he says is spending most of the time in the business and having reliable and honest employees. Processing  own poultry feeds has been a gamechanger for him, bringing down the cost of poultry farming. .


From the humble beginning he has been able to expand and improve the life of his family.

“I have been able to build a house, educate my children and lead a comfortable life.  Despite a number of challenges here and there, he plans to expand his farm. He plans to expand to a modest processing poultry feeds plant and open a chicken butchery.



Editha Lukindo

Business: Soap Making and Distribution, Kigoma

Loan provider: SIDO

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


She manufactures household cleaning soap (bar soap). She started off the production at her house, and later rented a temporary building as a semi-factory for the job. She says that SIDO where she is a member have been instrumental in making her business grow by providing finance and training.   It was with the loan that she was able to start professionally labelling her products.


Working hard at production and marketing, while also being able to save and manage finance wisely, has been the key to her success.



Salum Chumu

Business: Water supplies, Mwanamtoti, Kijichi

Loan provider:  HABITAT

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8

He has been supplying  clean water to Mwanamtoti community for the last 7 years. His success comes from hard work and determination, he says. He was employed on the same business and thereafter decided to start on his own but with the help of few friends and a loan from HABITAT.


He faces challenges of the water pipes being damaged when roads are being built. He has four employees on full time basis.  He plans to have his own borehole soon.



Prisca Kayombo

Business: Food processing and Decoration

Loan provider: WAT Human Settlement Trust

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8

Her business is 18 years old. She has been decorating  halls and gardens for various events. At the same time she also processes and packs foods such as mango pickle, tomato, and tamarind sauces among other things.

A loan by WAT Human Settlement Trust has been a gamecharge for her business.  They offered her a house which she has turned into a semi- factory for processing her goods.   She has also been able to buy cars for efficient supply of products and plans to export her products in future.



Amon Kalumuna

Business: Jute bags and shoes, Mbezi Louis, Dar es salaam

Loan provider:  Presidential Trust Fund

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


For Amon working together with like minded youths is a key for success. In 2015 he and his friend formed a developmental self help group geared towards income generating activities.  They started off making jute bags and shoes, but have expanded to other items.


“When we were starting I had some cash and my  partner had a sewing machine… that is how we started,” he says. They  started very small but has grown bigger and better with the help of Presidential Trust Fund.  PTF offered them a loan to purchase three sewing machines and materials for making bags.


To add value, the duo have gone an extra mile where they print  pictures of customers in their bags. “This has been one of our unique selling points,” he says.


The challenge they face lack of enough  machines to fulfil new orders on time. “We are not able to handle very  large orders…. we need more machines for better production,’ he notes.



Dorothy John Sambi

Business: Aquaculture (Fish Farming), Singida

Loan provider:  SIDO

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


For Dorothy, one of the best decision she has ever made was to get into fish farming. With her business partner, Charles, the venture has brought many challenges but also some considerable income.


“We rear two types of fish …which we  sell as fresh food for human consumption. We also supply other who want to start fish farming with juvenile fish for rearing, she says.

SIDO has been of great help to her. “The boy offered me the training needed as well as funds that was required to start the fish pond,” she notes.


One of the  challenges she encours is when her fish are attacked by  frogs and snakes. To prevent the attacks the pond has been fenced off using  iron sheets and a guard also stays at stand by. Dorothy and her partner plans to have more ponds in future. “We would also like to open a laboratory for grading and separating fish. Install electricity is key to making this dream happen,” she notes.  WIth the venture, they have been able to educate their children, build a modern house and buy a car. They have two employee full time, but also contract casuals on need basis.



Rahim Kalyango

Business: Greenhouse Construction, Dar es Salaam

Loan provider:  Vicoba Edelevu

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8

Most youths after University looks for the easy way out to make a living, but Rahim decided to walk the path of self employment.  He was 26 when he completed his university studies attaining a Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) and started the path to business.

What business to venture? He decided farming would do, but the route to take was greenhouses to produce vegetables.  Before starting, he was sure of the market dynamics, more so the demands, thus, he was sure, it would be a profitable venture.   He has his green houses in Bagamoyo, where he also specialises in building the green houses for others. He has a young family, that boasts of a fairly comfortable life. “I bought a car thanks to this business,” he says.

The market for vegetables is huge, and he cannot be able to meet the demand alone. He has been introducing youths to  start greenhouse farming, so that together they can manage a market share of the produce in Dar es Salaam. The business has created employment for many youths. He has big plans off opening practical farming learning centres this year. “I want to dedicate 3 greenhouses for training youth,” he says. He also plans to start lebbing and branding his vegetables. “I have already started the process by applying to get a barcode,” he says.



Jumanne Omar Fundisha

Business: School chalks Manufacturing, Singida

Loan provider:  SIDO

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


Most of the schools in Tanzania use chalk. Using locally found gypsum powder in Singida, Fundisha decided to venture into chalk manufacturing business after being trained by  SIDO. The service provider also offered him a loan to kick start the business. He launched the business in 2007. “I make quality but affordable chalk. I am able to competitively compete with cheap imports from from China,” he notes.

Regarding the fact that raw material is locally available, the chalks are sold at a lower prices as his gal is a  big turnover. WIth the income from the house, he has been able to give his children good education, and put up a modern house among other investments.  His goal is to expand the manufacturing plant, and increase volumes. “My ultimate aim is to start export chalks to other countries in Africa,” he notes. At the same time he also plans to start  manufacturing other products using the gypsum powder.



Salma Said

Business: Printing and stationery, Dar es Salaam

Loan provider:  Akiba Commercial Bank

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


Time is of great essence in as far as Salma’s business is concerned. She is in printing business, a highly competitive venture in Dar es Salaam. What makes her tick is strict following of customer’s timelines.  


She prints books, packaging, and myriad corporate items. My success comes from delivering on timely basis and offering what I call perfect or most quality printing,” she notes.


She has been borrowing money from Akiba Commercial Bank, and it has gone along way to make her business sustainable.  One of the greatest challenges she faces is unreliable power supply from the national grid. “Whenever we have a problem with power it makes my  work very complicated,” she notes. She wishes to purchase a high voltage generator and move to a more spacious office which can accommodate all her printing machines. She also hopes to visit Germany or China to learn more about printing and get modern machinery.  The business has made her acquire 3 farms and a car. She has also managed to put up two decent houses.



Lazaro Emmanuel

Business: Maize Farming, Sanya Juu, Kilimanjaro

Loan provider:  Umoja Magadini SACCOS

*The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017/8


The problem to most of the challenges that farmers face can be solved with a bit of innovation and seeking scientific solutions. For Lazaro that has been the mantra that has made all the difference in his venture as a farmer business person.


He has been very keen to learn about modern maize farming, and the game changer was when he adopted modern technology for his farm. He started off with an acre(this has expanded into ten), where the first thing, he did was to have a test to determine soil health done.  He bought seed varieties knowing very well the soil toxicology, and thus, he was able to get the right fertilisers at the right time. From soils, ploughing, planting, to harvesting, he is very keen to have everything done the right way .


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