Young people in Tanzania often face difficulty accessing capital, information and business advice. In rural areas, employment opportunities are often low skilled, low waged and rare. As part of the Raleigh ICS programme, volunteer groups run a course that works with young Tanzanian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 35, to improve their livelihood opportunities and help them gain further knowledge on running a businesses. Young entrepreneurs from some of the poorest communities receive support from volunteers over a three-month period, to develop their business plans, access finance and start running their businesses. Roughly 30 people in each village graduate from the course and 15 of those are given the opportunity to pitch their business plan to a panel, in the hope of gaining financial support. In addition to the self-confidence, sense of achievement and pride gained from completing the course, many have a greatly increased income and an ability to run their own enterprise.
I photographed the pitching sessions in two villages, Dodoma Isanga and Ulaya Kibaoni. A total of 23 individuals and groups pitched their business plan, of which 18 were successful in securing seed funding. Those that were unsuccessful were supported by Raleigh to find other sources of finance for their enterprises. Successful entrepreneurs were taken to the nearby town of Kilosa for a shopping day, where they purchased the equipment they needed to start their business.