A Brief Introduction to DAREnterprisers
A Brief Introduction to 'Ideation to Investment'
Tanzania is a rapidly developing nation, with an annual economic growth rate of approximately seven percent. The country’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, has the ninth fastest growing population in the world. Naturally, this rapid influx of people has led to a greater demand for jobs and services.
Youth unemployment in particular is a large and growing problem. A significant proportion of economic activity in Dar is highly informal in nature; thus, there exists a discrepancy between the demand for skilled jobs and the positions currently available in the labour market. In fact, there are approximately 900,000 young Tanzanian professionals competing for 60,000 formal jobs.
One way to tackle this economic challenge is through the creation and fostering of localised small businesses– using a model of human-centred design to address issues related to healthcare, energy, and more. However, there is a lack of entrepreneurial culture among students, as the Tanzanian education system does not encourage students to think creatively, even at the University level.
Creative and driven individuals are needed to develop ideas. The social enterprises they develop boost the internal development of the city and foster local economic diversification and growth.
In 2014, CDI established an eight-week course, DAREnterprisers, for 22 students at the University of Dar es Salaam, one of the top universities in Tanzania:
The course’s aim was to equip students with the relevant business, social and personal skills to succeed as entrepreneurs.
At the same time, the programme worked to tackle some of the problems facing Tanzania across three areas: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WaSH), Manufacturing & Urban Living, and Off-grid Energy. It ended with a sold-out conference, bringing our students together with industry experts and other innovators, who all shared the vision of using ‘impactful innovation’ to improve Dar.
Businesses formed during the programme had the opportunity to pitch to audiences of several hundred people, with a chance to receive seed capital for their ventures as well.
The DARE to Change Dar conference (held after the 2016 and 2017 programme cycles) offered a range of events; including the aforementioned student business pitches, expert panel discussions, guest speakers, audience-interactive activities, and opportunities for networking.
The theme of ‘Impactful Innovation' acted as a constant reminder of the importance of seeking sustainability, improvement and creativity.
For the 2017-18 cycle, the Entrepreneurship team looks to research, develop and pilot new projects in Dar, specifically focussing on a theme of women’s empowerment in the business sector. Although the entrepreneurship course aimed to attract a balance of male and female students (and included a women’s empowerment workshop as part of its curriculum), a number of cultural and logistical challenges prevented the equal participation of women in the programme. New projects will seek to target young women directly, employing a structure– including time commitment, location, and thematic content– that is particularly sensitive to their needs.