Different training in Tanzania, helps women grow their business


Tanzanian entrepreneur woman

When Celina Chibanda founded Mategemeo Vegetables Supplies decades ago, she had no notion it would grow into the booming business it is today.

Celina, 65, first arrived in Iringa Region of Tanzania in 1994 for her husband’s work. She sought employment at a local church, where she met a young woman who would sell her tomato sauce to other locals. Curious, Celina asked how she could make her own sauce to sell. The women explained how she had learned to make the sauce through Cuso International partner the Small Industry Development Organization (SIDO).

Eager to learn, Celina started training with SIDO in 1999, where she learned how to process food and started making peanut butter, garlic paste, nutritious flour and peanut oil.

With start- up loans from SIDO in hand, Celina was introduced to the Tanzania Local Enterprise Development (T-LED) project, which helped her formalize and produce certifications for her business.

As business picked up, Celina was able to hire three women for her business.

Entrepreneur woman“Women in Tanzania are not confident and are afraid to work,” she said. “They need support.”

Celina’s business has enabled her to send her four children to school and university. “It changed everything,” she said. Through SIDO, Celina was also able to travel to Germany for a month to network and learn from other women about her industry. “We will be exporting new products to Germany.”

Celina is convinced that support from SIDO was key to growing so quickly. She has acknowledged the significant role that volunteers play in transforming people’s lives.  “Volunteers are important to SIDO and to Cuso international,” she said. “We are here because of them.”

“The volunteers visit me all the time. They check on me and encourage me.”

As for the future of her business, Celina is not expecting to retire anytime soon. And she looks forward to her daughter joining her to help. “I enjoy the work. I love it,” she said. “When my daughter comes, we will work together and enjoy it together.”

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