The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were approved by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. They are 17 goals, 169 sub-goals and 229 indicators to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs balance the three dimensions of sustainable development (the economic, social and environmental dimension) within the framework of peace and cooperation. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300
Gender- and social inequality are known constraints to economic growth. As evidenced by the Tanzania Development Policy Vision 2025, the benefits from poverty reduction initiatives are unequally shared with women and marginalized populations, which contributes to pervasive poverty throughout the country. Rural communities are very poor, in part because there are limited work opportunities for women, who are then unable to contribute to the household financially and rely on men to sell crops or seek non-farm income in the workforce.
Most women are not participating in work, or they are given domestic work like fetching water or caring for the youngest and oldest household members. In addition, cultural traditions such as FGM, women’s inferior role in marriage, and polygamy reduce women’s access to education, which keeps women out of the workforce. This lack of education prevents women from benefiting from development initiatives offered by the government and NGO because many women lack the education and exposure to try new things.
While some women in Kigamboni have engaged in entrepreneurial activities such as selling vegetables, selling batik or kanga to tourists and local people, or selling breakfast snacks and chai and food near the market, many women lack the exposure or skills to start their own business to earn income.
The biggest constraints for many women are lack of education and exposure to other women who are working. Therefore most women stay at home doing domestic work despite the fact that they are talented and could do something to contribute to their household income to reduce poverty. Self-employment also means both women and men have equal opportunities to work, therefore reducing women’s one-sided dependence on men for household income.
Through talking to some women in the Kigamboni community, we have observed two types of women who could benefit from additional skills to become an entrepreneur:
Both groups of women would benefit from entrepreneurship training in a community-based format, learning from other women in addition to a trusted facilitator.
WEWE is based on the idea that women have valuable skills and insights to share with other women, regardless of their formal experience working in a business. WEWE would employ a similar model to other group-based development initiatives such as Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) used to help women save money or Community Producer Groups designed to help farmers share agricultural knowledge, market information, inputs, and labor but oriented toward a goal of entrepreneurial development, particularly for women. The WEWE project seeks to address the lack of education and exposure to business for women in order to help them build or grow entrepreneurial enterprises that generate income for their household.
The overall goals of the project are to:
In addition, the project aims to increase decision making roles for women within their households and to reinforce the fact that household gender equality is important in every aspect in life in order to reduce poverty
WEWE plans to build on the group-based, mutual aid model employed in agricultural development and microfinance efforts to bring a group of women together as a social development project. However, WEWE model proposes grouping both groups of women outlined above together to learn from each other in the group format, regardless of previous exposure to entrepreneurship.
Our plan is to facilitate opportunities for women from various communities and businesses to interact with each other in a group setting to collectively discuss business ideas, opportunities, constraints, and solutions. For example, some women have already started a business while some others have not, so those who have already started a business can help the other women by sharing their experience, including the ways they financed their business originally and any other lessons they have learned. While the WEWE group facilitators will provide some trainings themselves or will coordinate with other NGOs to provide skill-building training to the women (e.g., record keeping, learning about market prices, formalizing the business with the government), the group facilitators will work with the participants to determine an appropriate curriculum given the group’s self-defined learning goals.
While the goal of the WEWE groups is to help expose women to other women with the goal of helping them develop their own or their own shared business, we will not require women to have a specific idea in mind before they join the group. Some women may wish to participate and hear what others are doing first before developing their own idea, but they can still benefit from participating and can contribute ideas to other participants who have or are thinking of starting a business themselves.
Several aspects of this proposal are subject to further field testing through interviews or focus groups with women who fit the target population. However, the basic idea involves the following activities:
Small groups in each neighborhood of roughly 6-12 members will meet regularly to discuss business opportunities, exchange ideas, and save money. Participants in the entrepreneurial learning circle will take turns hosting the other participants to learn about their existing business or to share ideas to improve the host’s existing business plan. Participants will learn about and from their group members’ entrepreneurial ideas, which can help them develop their own entrepreneurial ideas as well.
Group composition: Ideally, we will have a mix of the two types of women (above). However, it may be difficult to create a perfect mix, and geographic considerations may outweigh the benefits of recruiting the perfectly mixed group. It may also be possible to form groups based on pre-existing groups or affiliations. For example, we could recruit women who belong to or are affiliated with existing groups (e.g., women’s saving groups, mothers of same-aged children).
Benefits: Through peer observation and knowledge sharing, members can learn from each other and think of ways to develop or improve their own business ideas
WEWE facilitators will also encourage members of the entrepreneurial learning circles to help each other with large tasks that require group labor on a regular, rotating basis. These tasks may include cleaning a plot of land to start a business, painting, working at a restaurant, or making a product to sell (e.g., food). other with tasks.
In addition to skill sharing and skill building activities, the WEWE groups will also provide a mechanism for women to participate in group savings through a ROSCA or Savings and Loan model to enable women to save the capital necessary to start or build their business. The group can create a shared savings accounts and develop whatever institutions they feel are necessary to ensure the funds are withdrawn only for business development purposes.
Due to the dispersed environment in Kigamboni, we will go house-by-house or street-by-street to educate potential group members about the goals and activities of the WEWE group as well as what they can expect to achieve as a result of participating to motivate them to join. Given the expansive geographic area to cover in Kigamboni, it will be helpful to recruit a local liaison in each [[neighborhood/community]] to help facilitate local recruitment in order to maximize the number of women who learn about the opportunity.
We will ask permission to community leadership to speak with the community and ask if they have names of women who currently own or work in a business. Then I will ask the women I meet to recommend other women who community leaders did not recommend.
It will be important for the group to develop a contract at the beginning during formation to ensure all members agree to the same goals and general rules. WEWE facilitators can help groups start this contract by providing a template and facilitating discussions about what some shared goals or rules might be, but the contract and participation requirements will ultimately be up to each small group.
Parameters of the contract may include:
The WEWE project aims to affect the following outcomes:
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
15.b Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation
Vzw Greenforward is a non profit organisation who has been active for 19 years in West Flanders, Belgium. The organisation is based completely on the enthousiasm and work of volunteers. Every year, they organise the Irie Vibes Roots Festival, a low budget, open minded, family friendly and ecological aware festival that attracts about 2500 people. In their actions and activities, the organisation always tries to keep the ecological footprint as low as possible. Social engagement is an important aspect of the working of the organisation. vzw Greenforward strongly believes that music transcends prejudices, music unites. But it’s not just about uniting, words of beliefs. They want to make a change in this world. In 2018, vzw Greenforward received the Ovam Green Event Award.
Together with ngo WEEDO and the communities in Kigamboni, vzw Greenforward wants to start up the Carbon Free Project “Trim your footprint”. The project is not only about reducing the own co emissions, we want to increase reforestation and support the use of clean ovens in the region.
The WEEDO is the ideal partner for us, because it gives us the chance to combine both our ecological and our social commitment. Educating and empowering women can be a keystone to change the world.
In 2019, vzw Greenforward funded a banda where the women of Weedo can come together.
Also in the summer of 2019, vzw Greenfoward and Weedo joined forces and planted 150 trees in the region of Kigamboni.
Yet, we want to do more.
In cooperation with local communities, we want to plant a whole forest in the region. We would focus on native trees, but also on fruit trees, so the community can prosper directly from the project. The members of WEEDO can start an entrepreneurship keeping gard of the forest, watering the trees, selling the fruits from the trees,...
On a regular basis, both organisations have contact with each other. There a several skype calls and we keep each other informed about our actions. In addition, crew members of vzw Greenforward visit WEEDO yearly. Together, they talk to local governments, ngo’s and WEWE groups.
In addition to the entire project, we also provide a world market during the Irie Vibes Roots Festival 2021. The world market is an initiation of the North South Counsel in Kortemark. By bringing the world market to the festival, we create the link between various partners and we want to make our visitors aware of the development goals. In the world market, various local organizations that are committed to the South or linked to fair trade and development goals can introduce themselves to the visitors. We also provide the province's Under Construction exhibition on the world market.
Beginning the 2021 edition, we also want to offer fair trade products in our main bar, our cocktail bar, our camping bar and our camping shop.