Celebrating success in Tanzania
From a young age, Pius Wambura Boniphace always had a passion for technology and all things digital.
“I’ve always wanted to make a difference in my community,” Pius says.
It was through Tanzania’s Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO), an entrepreneur program provided through Cuso International, that Pius was able to start his own business.
Now at the age of 23, Pius has launched a cross border e-commerce trading platform that is committed to helping Tanzanian businesses to develop business to consumer and business to business sales.
“I wanted to make it easier for people to access products, and that is how I came up with Makoroboi Mall,” he says. As a participant in the SIDO program, Pius has been able to grow his business by accessing relevant services and receiving financial support.
SIDO hubs offer business users a physical location for trading, networking and skills building, and an online footprint for product advertising and sales.
“The program has helped me acquire different skills and refine my idea,” Pius says, adding he has learned to pitch business ideas to different audiences and how to create a company budget.
The entrepreneurship program uses various methods to identify and reach out to different ideas including visiting academic institutions, accepting walk-ins, and organizing events.
From its start, the SIDO TLED Hub has affirmed gender equality as the backbone of all of its programming and innovative ideas are birthed by all including marginalized groups including entrepreneurs with special needs. The Hubs have worked with and supported people with different disabilities at both individual and group levels.
The idea for Pius’ e-commerce site was conceived in 2021 during an entrepreneurship event hosted at the Institute of Financial Management where Pius was a student. While studying, he met his classmates Leilahty Karondo and Jesca Mtatiro.
“We applied to the SIDO hub as a team,” Pius says. Leilahty is now Makoroboi Malls’ Chief Technical Officer, and Jesca is the site’s Chief Finance Officer, while Pius acts as the team’s Chief Executive Officer.
Before joining the program, Pius found it difficult to find resources to support his business idea, including financial support.
“The biggest challenge I faced was accessing financial capital,” he says. “It’s a challenge most Tanzanians face.” “If it was not for this program, I would still have no direction on where to start my company,” he says.
Going forward, Pius hopes to one day give back to his community through the creation of jobs and to include more women in the process.