Women entrepreneurs are increasingly recognized across the world for the success of their businesses and for their important contributions to their countries' economic well-being. A growing body of research indicates that women'seconomic empowerment is positively correlated with improved family welfare and nutrition, higher education levels for girls, and improved economic growth for the society as a whole.Tanzania has been in many respects at the forefront in strengthening the role of women both in the economy and inpolitics. Supportive legislation has sought to protect and enhance women's rights in areas such as land ownership andcustomary law. We boast a powerful women's movement, and women constitute 21 percent of parliamentarians and sixMinisters.Tanzanian women entrepreneurs are powerful role models, too, demonstrating that despite still being at a disadvantagecompared to their male counterparts, business success is attainable. Women often shoulder the double burden of bothwork and family responsibilities and still face particular challenges in accessing credit to expand their businesses.Tanzania is committed to ensuring that our positive legislative reforms promoting gender equality translate into meaningfulshared growth.The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing’s “Small and Medium Enterprise Policy” recognizes that women have lessaccess to productive resources such as land, credit and education, and welcomes research that further analyzes theunderlying causes for these disparities. Recognizing the need to ensure equality for women in business, the Ministry hascommissioned from the International Finance Corporation report that documents thechallenges that women face, but also highlights the successes of Tanzanian businesswomen.Key recommendations include reducing bureacratic barriers by introducing streamlined best practice models for companyformation and operation, and increasing women's access to land by strengthening the enforcement of land laws anddissemination of knowledge about women’s property rights. One crucial recommendation is to improve women's accessto finance by encouraging existing commercial banks to establish gender-sensitive programs and lines of credit for women entrepreneurs. To improve women's access to trade, the report recommends implementing gender analysis in theformulation of trade and economic growth policies, and providing training for women entrepreneurs on international buyer requirements and other relevant information, to facilitate their exports to international markets.Honorable Basil Pesambili MrambaMinister of Industry, Trade and MarketingUnited Republic of Tanzania
Voices of Women Entrepreneurs
The Ministry welcomes the report's recommendations on steps that the Ministry, other government bodies, and the private sector, as well as civil society, business associations and donors can undertake to ensure that women can fully engage in productive activities to the benefit of their businesses and our society as a whole.The Ministry is committed to ensuring that the recommendations are fully acted upon, and that the voices of Tanzanian women entrepreneurs are heard and applauded.