Tanzania is the sixth largest country in Africa, with a population of 51.8 million. Despite an emerging economy with a high potential for growth, it remains one of the world's poorest countries in terms of per-capita income. Most of the workforce is engaged in agriculture, while unemployment is especially common among women and youth.
Founded in 1998, FINCA Tanzania recently became the first institution to be granted a micro-finance banking license, allowing it to mobilize savings from both clients and the general public. With 25 branches, it serves more than 80,000 people throughout the country a diverse range of credit, savings and other services. FINCA Tanzania aims to serve small businesses of all types, with a special goal of helping entrepreneurs who are branching-out into non-traditional sectors, like services and manufacturing.
Reaching the Financially Excluded
Tanzania has one of the most conducive environments in Africa for low-income banking, and account penetration has increased recently among most population groups. Despite this progress, however, more than 80% of adults lack access to basic banking services, with financial exclusion at its worst outside the cities and towns.
While addressing this widespread shortage, FINCA Tanzania has succeeded in extending its reach to the most excluded populations, especially women and rural people. Three-quarters of FINCA’s clients live in rural areas, where poverty is widespread. FINCA is accelerating the deployment of mobile and agency banking as a means to broaden and deepen its outreach, and to provide better services at a lower cost to all clients.
Quality of Life
Our borrowers in Tanzania struggle with many quality-of-life issues that are typical of people in rural areas, including low levels of education and inadequate basic services. Three-fourths of household heads have less than a secondary education — almost twice the regional average — which greatly impairs their ability to earn a decent income. Over half of our borrowers live in homes with no running water or electricity. These burdens fall especially hard on children, who are exposed to disease and are unable to do homework or study after sundown.
Income & Employment
Income & Employment
Despite their harsh living conditions, FINCA’s customers in Tanzania earn an average profit of $3,174 per year to sustain their families, the highest in the region. Our borrowers employ 2.41 people per enterprise, totaling nearly 136,611 people country-wide. Two-thirds of these employees are earning wages that are above the national poverty line. Almost 40% of the total employment in FINCA-funded enterprises is a direct result of FINCA’s loans, meaning that FINCA's job-creation impact is equivalent to 53,000 people working full-time.
54% of FINCA's borrowers are women, the vast majority of whom are the main source of income in their families.
FINCA's women borrowers in Tanzania fare well in terms of owning their own businesses — better, in fact, than most other countries, where women are sometimes used as a source of credit for male-run businesses. Women in Tanzania are also slightly ahead of men in terms of overall job-creation, because they work in sectors like crop farming, which make more intensive use of labor.
Attaining Business and Personal Goals
The single most important goal of FINCA’s borrowers in Tanzania is to expand their business (68%). An additional 10% intend to start a new business. Paying debts and unexpected expenses is the next-highest priority (12%). About 95% of borrowers expect that FINCA’s loans will enable them expand their businesses. Those who have non-business goals, such as education or to acquire assets, express slightly less certainty that they will be able to accomplish this aspiration.