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Promotion of Women Entrepreneurs

Tanzania's financial sector and the microfinance industry in particular, is relatively young. Over the past fifteen years, the financial sector as a whole has undergone major changes from the originally state-owned and -controlled system to a liberalized financial sector. Principal elements of reform included liberalization of interest rates, restructuring of state-owned financial institutions, strengthening the Bank of Tanzania's role in regulating and supervising financial institutions, and allowing entry of local and private banks into the market. The far-reaching reforms have assisted to diversify the banking sector, and develop a small capital market. However, despite the progress, Tanzania's financial sector remains relatively small, and access to financial services remained stunted for the majority of Tanzanians.

The Project

Swisscontact, Equity Bank and Trestle Group Foundation developed a partnership that combines their respective competence for the promotion of women small businesses. The partnership will assist Equity Bank in entering a new market with a proven financial product that targets women small businesses. This in turn will help women entrepreneurs in Tanzania to grow their business and increase their income through the provision of financial services, training and mentoring that are customized and support the successful realization of business ideas.


2015 Results;

  • 116 staff (56 effective new in 2015) of Equity Bank were trained and consequently supported implementation of the Fanikisha+ activities.
  • The Partner Bank's client's base expanded from 70,000 customers in October 2013 to 87,278 in October 2015, with bank's branches expanding from 7 to 12 branches within the same time horizon.
  • 6 high potential women entrepreneurs provided mentoring and coaching to over 500 developing women businesses.
  • 620 women (90 percent from low-income households) entrepreneurs were trained.5 Fanikisha+ loan products (Maisha, Shaba, Imara, Dhahabu, and Tanzanite) developed during the Fanikisha+ pilot phase were launched in May 2015 in all 12 branches of the bank.
  • A total of 1,107 loans valued USD 1,924,592 were disbursed to women entrepreneurs by the end of October 2015. The loans comprised of 1,080 of Fanikisha Imara loans product worth USD 623,352, total of 22 loans of Fanikisha Dhahabu valued at USD 562,264 and 5 loans of Fanikisha Tanzanite worth USD 738,976.

Project partner

Project countries

  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania

Project duration

2014 - 2016


  • SCBF

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org