An Entrepreneur Unchained: A Young Tanzanian’s Journey to Self-Reliance

Daniel used to be a land broker agent from Mwanza without direction in his life. Before the Mwanza Youth and Children Network (MYCN)- a youth-led organization that works with youth to facilitate their access to livelihood opportunities- came onto the scene, neither he nor other young peers in his life owned a business or an office space.

Funded by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), MYCN transformed the life of Daniel and the community surrounding him. Daniel received entrepreneurship training from MYCN. He has created products and used his training to teach other young men how to do the same. The transformation did not stop with Daniel. With support from MYCN, he formed the Nyamunge Youth Union (“Umoja wa Vijana Nyamunge: – UVN), a youth entrepreneurship and business group. The union boasts 16 members, and Daniel was elected their chairperson.

After the training, Daniel led UVN to start a poultry business. The business started with 10 chickens. Gradually, members began to reinvest their profits and now rear and sell 36 chickens monthly. The chickens are free-range and organic. MCYN has provided him with leadership training along with entrepreneurship coaching. The training has increased his confidence and skills as He is vying for a leadership position in the union. MYCN also linked the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) with UVN and has also been a tremendous help to the group providing them with food processing training. MYCN links youth groups which district and regional opportunities hence the group has been able to participate in major government exhibitions. Marketing literacy and financial management are other skills that UVN acquired through the

youth intervention.

Daniel is now an expert trainer and has trained 13 others. Bernadeta Max, 28, a mother of three, is one of Daniel’s trainees. She is a small businesswoman and an entrepreneur. With business coaching from Daniel, she has gone from being an unemployed stay-at-home mother dependent on her children’s runaway father to a small shop owner selling cassava, assorted vegetables and other food products. Although her children’s education was paid for and she was given an allowance by her children’s father, not earning a living greatly troubled Bernadeta as a mother. Through MYCN’s interventions, she is currently self-reliant and able to pay her rent and buy food for herself and her young ones.

Youth employment remains a major challenge, both at the global and national levels. Unfortunately, the rapid gains in economic growth and education have not translated into productive and decent employment significant enough in alleviating poverty. FCS is supporting national efforts in promoting youth access to sustainable livelihood opportunities to empower the youth. The 2022-2026 FCS strategic plan seeks to enable youth, people with disabilities and women to secure greater access to markets, jobs and livelihood assets and resources.