The COVID pivot: Entrepreneurship

New partnerships and pilot projects having been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Entrepreneurship Project Directors Izzy Green and Hannah Rogasch have worked brilliantly on laying strong foundations for the future success of the Entrepreneurship Project. In this blog Izzy tells us about the adaptations they have made.

Although it has been difficult to adjust to the loss of the summer trip, the Entrepreneurship Project has been able to continue working to set up future Entrepreneurship teams for the greatest success possible. Our summer work will now comprise two streams: preparatory work for the project we were planning to implement this summer to be in the best place possible for handover to next year’s team, and a new partnership which we hope will have some positive impact upon the COVID-19 situation in Tanzania without openly stating disagreement with the official government line.

Our original pilot project, Tanzania CAN (Consult, Act, Network), was designed to match business students from both Dar Es Salaam and Cambridge with small enterprises (1-3 employees) in Dar, to offer consultation and support on scaling up their businesses. After the consultation period, the entrepreneurs would graduate into a community of fellow local entrepreneurs who would meet in a roundtable format once a quarter to network and discuss barriers and opportunities for growth. Our preparatory work includes designing a baseline survey, implementing Monitoring and Evaluation frameworks, designing a recruitment campaign and training for volunteer entrepreneur consultants, and fundraising.

Our new partnership project is working with Mydia-TZ, to support and facilitate soap-making microfinance livelihood projects. We are hoping to bring together a three-way partnership with KITE, to run parallel soap-making projects. Mydia-TZ work in the North West of the country in the Kigoma region, so this entails scaling the project up to run in two locations. The project trains and funds young mothers (under 25), so fits with CDI Entrepreneurship’s long term aim of reducing youth unemployment through capacity-building, while pivoting towards supporting the local production of an essential good which has become increasingly necessary with the pandemic. Our role in the partnership is still emerging, but our main goal will likely be supporting fundraising, Monitoring and Evaluation, and budgeting as well as facilitating the Mydia-KITE relationship.

By Isabelle Green Entrepreneurship Director 2019/20

Izzy is a Postgraduate student at Gonville and Caius college.

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