New business training helps a young family thrive



Raising a young family is never easy, but when finances are tight it can add a new level of stress. For Zahoro Bilal and his young family of five, tight finances often meant not meeting basic needs.

At 36, Zahoro was struggling to find a good stream of income, only making $21 USD a month while selling rice on the streets. Luckily a relative told Zahoro about a program that helps young entrepreneurs start a business. With three young children, Zahoro decided to take the training course in hopes to make more income to support his family.

The training was provided by Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) an organization aimed to support, enable, and help young entrepreneurs with their business, focusing on agriculture businesses.

“I have learned to never give up and that everything is possible,” he said. “I have learned many unique skills on how to better advance my business and I am always proactive to sign- up for new training sessions.”

After the SUGECO training Zahoro, started a chili sauce business. He has successfully packed and sold his chili sauce to different chip vendors, eventually, making on average $106 USD per month.

With this bigger income, Zahoro feels a lot less stress towards his finances and he is now able to have food and shelter covered every month.

“I now have assurance that I can have the basic needs met for my family,” he said. “Before I was never sure, I could meet them.”

Zahoro, makes about 30 bottles of his chili sauce a day in his home. With the help of a Cuso International volunteer, they designed a label and logo, calling the sauce Zongo chili. The chili sauce consists of garlic, habanero peppers, carrots, and other spices, with many locals eating the sauce with fried chips or french fries.

His goal in the next five years is to make 1,000 bottles per day by getting a factory with bigger blenders, since he currently has limitations of how many sauces he can make due to limited equipment and space.

“Without SUGECO, I wouldn’t have the idea to create this chili sauce,” he said. “I am the first person to introduce this kind of chili sauce in the Morogoro region.” Soon he hopes to start an incubator program to help grow his business and expand his production.

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