Lecturer at Sokoine University of Agriculture- Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness (SUA – DAEA) Dr. Zena Mpenda (left) explains to entrepreneurs necessary components to be included in the labels. Dr. Zena was one of the experts from SUA who facilitated a one week tailor made training for food processing SMEs organized by Small and Medium Enterprises Competitiveness Facility (SCF) and held in Morogoro. Center is Director for Kagera Milk Supplier Company, Thobia Elieza and right is Rosemary Malulu, the Director of Panael Food Products Company in Mwanza. Picture by correspondent
Small and Medium Enterprises Competitiveness Facility (SCF) Director Casmir Makoye (second left) hands over a certificate of participation to Director and founder of Ring investment Mr. Theogen Bana who was a third batch of 100 food processing SMEs Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and staffs who attended a one week training on business management skills held in Morogoro. Left is Lecturer at Sokoine University of Agriculture –Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Mr. Felix Nandonde and second right is Leopard Lema who was the Chairman of trainees.
By Our Correspondent, Morogoro
Small and Medium Enterprises Competitiveness Facility (SCF) has challenged Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) to be self-reliance when it comes to expanding volume of their working capital.
Speaking at the closing session of a one week training for a third batch of 100 food processing SMEs Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and their staff in Morogoro at the weekend, SCF Director Casmir Makoye asked entrepreneurs to believe in their business to be an important tool to take them to higher heights of entrepreneurship.
“The challenge that food processing SMEs are facing which includes shortage of working capital can be easily addressed by entrepreneurs themselves. This is one of the subjects addressed during this training they have just had, if only they will implement what they have learned, they will be perplexed on the twist their business will make,” he said.
Mr. Makoye said capital expansion is only possible if an entrepreneur will have a proper business management skill which is greatly depended on well-mannered financial management practice.
“These entrepreneurs have been trained on how to tame all loopholes that erodes their working capital hence suppressing growth of their business that leads to gradual death of their promising business. According to a number of researches done and based on our many years’ experience working with these SMEs, we are convinced that working capital expansion in such businesses greatly depends on the initiatives of the owner,” said Mr. Makoye.
The SCF Director wanted entrepreneurs to inculcate a culture of seeking a professional help from experts as well as employing experienced workforce instead of going for cheap and none experienced employees, or at worse, use his/her family relatives whom he said becomes difficult to hold accountable for the lapse that may occur in the course of carrying out their assignments.
“Once an entrepreneur has financial discipline, he/she involves experts for a professional advice and stops treating your business as a family entity, I believe that he/she will see his/her working capital volume growing at a marvelous speed. This cry by many SMEs, of lacking enough capital will be a history,” he said.One of the trainees, Director and founder of Ring investment Mr. Theogen Bana said the training has helped him understand how to calculated cost of doing business, what kind of loan an entrepreneur needs to go for according to his/her needs, market positioning, how to improve quality of products to meet market and quality standards and how to identify markets.
“This training has become a great boost to me as an entrepreneur. There are many things I was doing, not knowing that I was killing my business. I promise that the first thing to do when I go back is to change the whole management structure of my enterprise and I will constantly work closely with experts,” said Mr. Bana.
Grace Mushi, a Production Manager at SADO Farm in Dar es Salaam, said before the seminar, she was using the traditional method in purchases raw materials, storing the raw materials and she also realized that she was not keen in record keeping which was contributing to failure of her business from expanding.
The tailor-made training targeted more than 100 SMEs in food processing industry who are expected to increase their internal capacity for both domestic and international competitiveness.
The training which was facilitated by experts from Sokoine University of Agriculture- Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness (SUA – DAEA) under the auspices of (Sokoine University of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Consultancies and Advisory Services (SUA BACAS), has helped to equip participants with business management skills that will see them operating competitively in terms of producing quality products at reasonable cost with best marketing strategies.
SCF had early this year introduced a Point of Sales (POS) database which is now available for food processors in the country at a cost of USD 100, to help them have easy access to crucial market information that will assist them to increase their sales volumes.