The Tanzania Business Knowledge Project would apply the digital revolution to business development in Tanzania by:
The Project would be effective because:
The goal is to make available to Tanzanian entrepreneurs an "essential Tanzanian business knowledge base" at no cost.
The Tanzanian essential business knowledge base five characteristics:
The Tanzanian essential business knowledge base would be created by fusing the world's basic business knowledge base, which is available widely and cheaply on the websites for governments of English speaking countries, with Tanzanian business knowledge, to be assembled as part of the Project through a systematic interview process with Tanzanian business leaders.
The Tanzanian essential business knowledge base would be available in Swahili, with information products available in Swahili. Materials (documents, video files, and audio files) would be available in English where they were created in English.
The Tanzanian essential business knowledge base would be created as printable, video and audio formats. Printable documents would be of interest to those that are literate. Video and audio formats would be of interest to all, but uniquely of interest to those without or with low literacy skills.
The specific products in the essential Tanzania business knowledge base would include:
The Project would develop several mechanisms to distribute the various document, video and audio products described above:
The development of the Tanzanian essential business knowledge base and its distribution mechanisms is expected to take two years. Once completed, the Project would operate with relatively little management required.
It is anticipated that there will be a substantial market for the Project's output.
In comparison with historic methods for disseminating knowledge, digital technologies revolution the way knowledge can be distributed, reaching a large number of people are a fraction of the cost.
To understand the significance of the digital revolution, prior to the “digital revolution”, non-digital content and distribution mechanisms were the only ones available. They included:
The arrival of digitization of both content and distribution mechanisms changes the situation in a number of ways.
All projects, whether carried out by private sector entrepreneurs, or officials in corporations, international and national government agencies, and non-governmental organizations have a preparatory phase. This phase includes the detailed costing, the development of a business plan, the development of prototypes for demonstration purposes, making presentations to secure support, and securing authorization to proceed from investors, corporate or government leaders, and other supporters as required.
After the preparatory phase, the proposed Project would apply the digital revolution to business development in Tanzania in both creating the Tanzania essential business knowledge base, the subject of this section, and in creating distribution mechanisms, the subject of the following section.
Creating the knowledge base would proceed through these steps.
This component entails gathering the essential business knowledge documents from governments and government agencies of English speaking countries, and organizing them into an integrated, editable format. Essential business knowledge bases have been created and delivered through the internet by governments in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Websites are provided below:
Copyright rules vary from country to country. While copyrights may need to be managed, getting access to these documents for a non-commercial purpose and with acknowledgement of the source should be possible.
Collectively, these websites contain the English language, foreign essential knowledge base. They address the issues entrepreneurs will face as they go through the stages of business development: idea conceptualization; business start up; business operations; business growth and expansion; innovation and research; and business exits and continuity planning. Click here to see the types of topics covered by these websites. They are widely available to the English speaking world at no cost. At minimal cost, this essential knowledge base could be made available to Tanzanians. This is the essence of the Project.
Much of this knowledge base would be applicable in Tanzania. These websites provide a starting point in creating the Tanzanian knowledge base. Clearly, not all components will be relevant in Tanzania. Components dealing with regulations, statistics and government programs and services need replacement; some research could fill these gaps. In addition, some components would require the development of Tanzanian best practices; a systematic interview process with Tanzanian experts and successful entrepreneurs could address this.
Digital technologies related to the accessing, creating, copying, editing and storing files in a variety of formats facilitates the assembly and creation of a Tanzania essential business knowledge base.
The specific steps involved are:
The goal would be to capture all the relevant foreign-sourced essential business knowledge within a concise, logical framework. It is estimated that the end product would be up to 175 documents (based on the number of documents in the North American websites) of typically 4 pages.
The adaptation process would work with the approximately 150 documents representing the foreign-sourced best practices from the foregoing component. It would include:
There are a number of business experts in Tanzania. They include:
The challenge is to collect the wisdom and knowledge in these individuals.
To this end, the Project would identify a selection of Tanzanian business experts for interview, and then undertake a systematic interview process with these business experts. The interviews would be structured around a set of questions. The focus would be addressing topics covered in the foreign knowledge bases for which foreign content would not be relevant in Tanzania, and particularly to address best practice gaps in Tanzania.
The interviews would be videod so the content could be distributed as part of the knowledge base.
Where interviewees speak English and Swahili, the interviews would be conducted in Swahili, so the content could be shared more broadly.
In addition to interviews with Tanzanian business experts, the Project would capture Tanzanian business knowledge by video-taping events such as training courses, workshops and conferences.
The integration process would include filling gaps in the foreign sourced knowledge base, particularly in areas where the foreign sourced materials is irrelevant in the Tanzanians context, and by modifying the foreign sourced materials where necessary.
The end result would be a Tanzanian adaptation of the foreign-sourced essential business knowledge base to the Tanzanian context in English. The resulting package could include up to 150 (print documents, of length not exceeding 4 pages, organized under appropriate subject headings, in a format that is easy to edit.
Translation into Swahili makes the knowledge base accessible to the large number of Tanzanians that do not speak English. It is an essential feature of the Project. It is assumed the work would be contracted out to translators who are knowledgeable in business and business terms.
It is expected that translation will cover 150 documents of 4 pages, with 400 words per page. Based on publicized rates, contractor translation rates are expected to approximate 10 cents per word. Given the volume of the work, a lower rate may be negotiable. The total cost would be about $24,000.
The would be done by bundling existing materials into E-books, books, brochures
As people generally learn in different ways, it is useful to provide video, audio and print document options. Video materials address literacy concerns generally and particularly as people age, especially women, so those that are not totally literate can access the content by watching or listening.
As indicated above, it is expected that there would 150 printable documents of up to 4 pages in the English language. There would need to be 150 videos based on the content in these documents. Presumably, these videos would be short, because the documents themselves are short. It is assumed that the videos would be made by the Project's staff.
The Project would accumulate a number of hours of video materials. The step involves transforming these raw materials into usable and interesting products. These video products would include:
The focus would be on creating videos in Swahili. Where the raw video footage will occasionally be in English, the final products will need dubbed in translations and/or subtitles to be useful.
The development of video materials would include video editing to transform the raw content from the video capture initiatives into the video products described above. The transformation would include:
Audio products to correspond to the video products would be developed by separating the audio track from the video.
In audio and video products, Tanzanian humour, music, good presentation and consistent formatting would increase effectiveness.
The products are:
The following steps would be taken within the Project to distribute the Tanzania essential business knowledge base.
Developing the website would include the following:
This involves developing non-web mechanisms to distribute the knowledge base, including compact disks and memory sticks with instructions for installation on networks and standalone computers.
Promoting the website through (a) an effective name, (b) start-up promotions, (c) ongoing promotions, and (d) using products distributed outside the website (e.g. Facebook pages) to promote the website.
Start-up promotions would include:
A catchy theme song would help.
The starting point is to conduct, at an early stage, interviews with TV and radio stations to determine interest in products that might come out of the Project, and where there is interest, to determine design requirements.
|Source of Content||Digital Products Content||Digital Distribution Mechanism|
|Internet Distribution||Memory Sticks, compact disks, Storage Media||TV||Radio|
|Adapted North American Best Practices; Videod Expert Interviews; Videod Successful Entrepreneur Interviews; Event Videos||Knowledge Base Products|
|- Short Documents||x||x||x||x|
|- Short Videos||x||x||x||x||x|
|- Short Audios||x||x||x||x||x|
|- E-Books and Long Documents||x||x|
|- Video Documentaries & Training Videos||x||x||x|
|- Audio Books||x||x||x|
|Successful Entrepreneur Interviews||Success Stories||x||x|
|Event Videos||Event Videos||x||x|
|Online Staff Moderated Question and Answer Forum||Entrepreneur Common Question-Answer Document||x|
Extent of operations will depend on funding, market response, etc.
At a minimum, tasks would include:
Subject to financing, additional tasks could include:
Three staff members are required to develop the knowledge base: a Content Officer/Project Manager; a Video Officer; and a Computer Officer.
One individual would have dual responsibilities for managing the content in the site, in addition to managing the Project overall. Responsibilities are in both the development phase and the operating phase of the Project.
The individual should have the following knowledge and skills: a knowledge of good business practices; excellent writing and oral skills in English and Swahili; excellent presentation skills; project management skills; people management skills; marketing and promotion skills; and an ability to work with business leaders.
Tasks in the development phase for the Content Officer/Project Manager would begin at the start of the Project. They are summarized in the table Development Costs below. It is estimated that the work would require 475 person days. Of this total, 187 person days would be spent on content development, 288 days on project management, and 87 days representing a contingency factor. The work would likely span a period between 2.0 and 2.5 years. Initially, the work would focus on content, but shift toward project management once the content is solidified and then toward marketing and promotion once the content and delivery mechanisms are in place.
The minimum tasks in the operating phase are also summarized the table Operating Costs below. They are estimated at about 185 person days per year. With approximately 260 working days outside of weekends in a year and with allowances for holidays, vacation, etc., 185 person days amounts to close to a full-time job.
In the operating phase, the Project could be expanded in a variety ways, subject to financing. These additional tasks include extending the knowledge base (new videos, best practices, filmed events), supporting the training work of other organizations, supplementing the generic, how-to knowledge base with industry-specific and area-specific knowledge, and operating a call center. The time and cost requirements of these additional tasks are not factored into the Project.
Tasks in the development phase of the Project are summarized in the table Development Costs below.
Skills and knowledge requirements include skills in making and editing high quality videos. Knowledge of business practices would provide a foundation for making useful video and audio products out of the accumulated video materials created during the Project.
The work of the Video Officer is expected to take a 338 person days, amounting to approximately a year and half of work.
Work would begin when the Content Officer/Project Manager has completed the written English and Swahili translations of the knowledge base, with much of the initial work involving work with the Content Officer/Project Manager to put this written content into a visual, video form. Following this would be the filming of a number of interviews with business leaders in Tanzania, as part of the process of identifying Tanzanian best practices. The final segment of the work would involve converting the accumulated video materials into a variety of audio and video products.
There is no requirement for the Video Officer in the operating phase of the Project, unless the Project evolves beyond the minimum tasks set out in the table Operating Costs below.
Tasks of the Computer Officer in the development phase are summarized in the table Development Costs below.
The work of the Computer Officer in the development phase is expected to involve 276 person days, amounting to about a year and a quarter of work. The work would begin in earnest toward the end of the development phase, when most of the written, video and audio products are available for incorporation into the digital distribution systems. The primary challenge is to incorporate these materials in a website, standalone memory stick applications, and social media pages.
In the operating phase of the Project, about 70 person days of work would be required to maintain and update the distribution mechanisms periodically.
The Project has not been thoroughly costed. However, the tables Development Costs and Operating Costs identify the cost elements, most of which are not high.
Identified costs in the development phase include: word processing software; travel, meals, accommodation; camera; translation contract ($24,000); HTML editing software; video editing software; website design software; website name registration; web hosting services; security certificate; memory sticks; advertizing costs (TV, radio, internet); mailing list acquisition costs; stamps;venue rental; food/hospitality costs; legal services; incorporation fees; board costs; corporate reporting; legal services for financing contracts; audit; office space; office furniture; 4 or 5 computers; 4 cell phones; insurance; electricity; internet account; modem/router; bookkeeper; accounting services; cell phone accounts; printer; copier; office manager salary; office supplies
Identified costs in the operating phase include: advertizing costs (TV, radio, internet); travel, meals, accommodation; stamps; website name registration costs; security certificate; website hosting services; memory sticks; legal Services; board costs; reporting; office space; insurance; electricity; internet account; bookkeeper; accounting services; cell phone account; office manager salary; supplies.
|Activities to be Performed for Development||Content |
|Other Cost Items|
|1. Developing the Products|
|1.1. Assembling the foreign-sourced essential knowledge base documents|
|1.1.1. Comparing the knowledge base source options selecting one source as primary||10|
|1.1.2. Getting the documents from the primary source (direct from source or off internet (150 documents)||15|
|1.1.3. Putting them into an organized, usable, editable format||25||Word processing software|
|1.2. Adapting the foreign-sourced business knowledge base for utilization in Tanzania|
|1.2.1. Addressing foreign-sourced regulatory issues which would be irrelevant in Tanzania||10|
|1.2.2. Replacing foreign-sourced statistical references with Tanzanian references||5|
|1.2.3. Replacing references to foreign-sourced support programs with references to Tanzanian support mechanisms||5|
|1.2.4. Identifying foreign-sourced best practices that would be impractical in Tanzania||5|
|1.2.5. Identifying gaps in knowledge that would need to addressed by developing Tanzanian best practices|
|1.3. Carry out a knowledge capture process to create Tanzanian best practices|
|1.3.1. identify a selection of Tanzanian business experts for interview||5|
|1.3.2. Undertake a systematic video-taped interview process with these business experts based on a structured set of questions (50 interviews - 2 days each)||100||100||Travel, meals, accommodation, camera|
|1.3.3. Capture Tanzanian business knowledge by video-taping events such as training courses, workshops and conferences (10 events)||2||20||Travel, meals, accommodation, camera|
|1.4. Integrating content from the knowledge capture process with the foreign sourced knowledge base into an organized package of print documents||10|
|1.5. Translating the English language documents into Swahili (150 short documents)||3||Translation contract ($24,000)|
|1.6. Packaging the print documents into additional formats (PDF,HTML)"||20||HTML editing software|
|1.7. Developing Swahili videos based on the content in the printable documents (150 documents x 2 languages x 2 formats)||40||40||Video editing software|
|1.8 Develop other Swahili video products by transforming video material collected within the Project (interviews, events, 150 in-house short videos)|
|1.8.1, Splicing together relevant content from a variety of sources into coherent products||20||20||Video editing software|
|1.8.2. Adding titles, subtitles, credits and other tools to enhance products||50||Video editing software|
|1.8.3. Adding dubbed audio and subtitled translations||40||Video editing software|
|1.8.4. Generating the product into a suitable format for the target end-use (e.g. web, television, radio, social media)||2||Video editing software|
|1.8.5. Using consistent presentation formats through all the products||2|
|1.8.6. Incorporating humor wherever possible||10|
|1.9. Creating audio products||Video editing software|
|2. Developing the Distribution System|
|2.1. Create a website to be accessed over the internet|
|2.1.1. Designing the format||15||Site design software|
|2.1.2. Incorporating key features (e.g. messages, statistics, bilingual, printing)||15||Site design software|
|2.1.3. Organizing the content (e.g. file naming conventions)||10|
|2.1.4. Designing content accessing systems (e.g. key word search, drill down menus and sub-menus, site-map)||15|
|2.1.5. Populating the system with available content||40|
|2.1.6. User testing||20|
|2.1.7. Documenting design and coding decisions for future reference||10|
|2.1.8 Dealing with operational issues (e.g. name registration, security certificate, hosting services, search engine optimization)||15||Name registration, web hosting services, security certificate|
|2.2. Create a standalone application to sit on computers and local area network||10||Memory sticks|
|2.3 Create social media pages (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) to the website and distribute content to be accessed over the internet||25||Web page design software|
|2.4. Place video materials on Youtube through a Youtube channel||15|
|2.5. Carry out start up promotions|
|2.5.1. Advertisements on radio, TV and internet||5||Advertizing costs (TV, radio, internet)|
|2.5.2 Letter mail-outs and emails to key players, banks and groups to promote the website address||5||Mailing list acquisition costs, stamps|
|2.5.3. News releases to media outlets||3|
|2.5.4. Media interviews||10||Travel, meals, accommodation|
|2.5.5. Presentations to key groups like lawyers, accountants, consultants, local business organizations and at conferences and meetings||15||Travel, meals, accommodation|
|2.5.6. An opening event||3||Venue rental, food costs|
|2.5.7. Endorsements from respected figures||5|
|2.5.8. Website/business name|
|2.5.9. Facebook and Social Media Promotions||2||10|
|2.6. Explore options for distributing audio and video materials through radio and TV stations|
|2.6.1. Carry out interviews with TV and radio stations||5||Travel, meal, accommodation|
|2.7. Explore options to distribute audio files via automated telephone systems||10|
|3. Manage the Project|
|3.1. Operationalize the Project through arrangements with investors, sponsors, partners, and other sources of assistance||15|
|3.2. Create and manage corporate structure||10||Legal services, incorporation fees, Board costs, corporate reporting|
|3.2. Plan, budget, finance, and account for finances||15||Legal services for financing contracts, audit|
|3.3. Plan the work, hire and oversee the video officer||10||10|
|3.4. Plan the work, hire and oversee the work of the computer officer||10||10|
|3.5. Manage the office during the development period (two years)||45||Office space, furniture, computers, cell phones, insurance, electricity, internet account, modem/router, bookkeeper, accounting services, cell phone account, printer, copier, office manager, supplies|
|4.0 Contingency (15 per cent)||62||44||36|
|Total Development Costs||475||338||276|
|Activities to be Performed for Development||Content |
|Other Cost Items|
|1. Carry out ongoing promotions of the site|
|1.1. Place advertisements on radio, TV and internet||5||Advertizing costs (TV, radio, internet)|
|1.2. Do presentations at every opportunity||5||Travel, meals, accommodation|
|1.3. Do occasional mail-outs and email campaigns||15||Mailing list acquisition costs, stamps|
|2. Maintain the knowledge base, including corrections, updating as circumstances change (regulations, statistics, support programs)||30|
|3. Manage the website|
|3.1 Update the HTML language in the website to track the evolution of the language||15||HTML editing software updates|
|3.2. Maintain the technical aspects of the website (hosting services, security, name registration, search engine optimization)||15||Name registration costs, security certificate, web hosting services|
|3.3. Address questions||20|
|4. Manage social media materials||20||20|
|5. Manage stand alone versions of the knowledge base (periodic updates, etc)||20||20||Memory sticks|
|6. Answer inquiries, provide assistance||30|
|7. Review performance, particularly the extent of access and the impact of access, and exploring new mechanisms||10|
|8. Manage copyrights||5||Legal Services|
|9. Plan, budget, finance and account||20|
|10. Manage corporate structure||5||Board costs, reporting|
|11. Manage the office||15||Office space, furniture, computers, cell phones, insurance, electricity, internet account, modem/router, bookkeeper, accounting services, cell phone account, printer, copier, office manager , supplies|
|Annual Operating Costs - Minimum||185||0||70|
Tanzania's literacy rate among those 5 years and over in 2012 was 71.23 percent, of which 5,239,729 would understand material in English, while 26,097,183 would understand Swahili. The literate population is a primary target of the Project, and the numbers are substantial. The Project is primarily in Swahili.
The Project is designed to provide information not only through printable documents, but also through audio and visual means, to reach those who are not literate or have weak literacy skills or learn best through audio and visual communications.
|Population Category||Number of People|
|Population 0 - 4||7,273,833|
|Population 5 years and over||37,155,090|
|Swahili and English||4,934,827|
|Source: Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, Census 2012|
Literacy rates are age-related, with older groups less likely to be literate. They are also gender-related. Literacy rates among women appear to be similar to men around age 20. While both groups appear to lose literacy as they age, the drop is more pronounced among women. Project provides an incentive people to retain the literacy gained in school.
Tanzania has a significant absolute number well educated people. While these are a target for the Project, the Project is intended to reach those with lesser education, by addressing "basic" business knowledge.
|Level of Education||Women||Men|
|Number (000)||Percent (%)||Number (000)||Percent (%)|
|Tertiary non university||207||1.5||248||2.0|
|Source: Integrated Labour Force Survey, 2014|
In 2014, there were 9.89 million Tanzanian women and 10.14 million men in the labor force. Individuals who start businesses are often those already working. The working population is a target for the Project.
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing (%)||69.9||64.0|
|Mining and quarrying (%)||0.4||1.7|
|Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (%)||12.8||12.4|
|Transportation and storage (%)||0.2||5.0|
|Accommodation and food service activities (%)||6.5||1.4|
|Administrative and support service activities (%)||0.3||1.0|
|Human Health and social work activities (%)||1.0||0.7|
|Source: Integrated Labour Force Survey, 2014|
There were 154,618 businesses that employed one or more people in mainland Tanzania in 2014-2015, of which 79,583 were registered. In addition, there are undoubtedly many more businesses consisting only of the entrepreneur. Beyond this, there are many more Tanzanians involved in entrepreneurial activities, even though these activities would not be considered "businesses". Those in business are a primary target of the Project, particularly the components dealing with improving business operations.
There were 2,016 businesses in the categories Administration & Support Services Activities; Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities; and Administration & Support Services Activities. These businesses include the accountants, lawyers, engineers, computer specialists, consultants and others who will advise small businesses, could have stand alone applications of the knowledge base on their computers and are expected to be an important delivery mechanism to their business clients.
|Sector||Tanzania Registered and Unregistered Business (#)|
|Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing||461|
|Mining & Quarrying||551|
|Electricity, Gas, Steam & Air Conditioning Supply||259|
|Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management & Remediation Activities||308|
|Wholesale & Retail Trade, Repair of Motor Vehicles &Motorcycles||52,820|
|Transportation & Storage||818|
|Accommodation & Food Service Activities||11,136|
|Information & Communication Activities||319|
|Real Estate Activities||2,369|
|Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities||44|
|Administration & Support Services Activities||1,015|
|Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities||957|
|Public Administration & Defence, & Compulsory Social Services||4,607|
|Human Health & Social Work Activities||4,763|
|Arts, Entertainment and Recreation||239|
|Other Service Activities||5,868|
|Activities of Extra-territorial Organizations and Bodies||6|
|Source: Statistical Business Registered Report Tanzania Mainland 2014-2015, National Bureau of Statistics|
Of the 154,618 businesses in mainland Tanzania with at least one employee, 77.3 percent had 1 to 4 employees and a further 12.4 percent had 5 to 9 employees. These statistics do not include the many businesses with no employees. Within the business community, small businesses with employees ranging from 0 to 9 would be the most likely users of the Project.
|Industrial Activity||Number of Establishments||Size Group|
|1 - 4||5 - 9||10 - 19||20 - 49||50 - 99||100 - 499||500+|
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||461||146||154||74||40||28||19||0|
|Mining and quarrying||551||141||120||86||132||39||28||5|
|Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply||259||154||27||32||24||8||13||1|
|Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities||308||123||72||43||35||24||11||0|
|Whole sale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles||52,820||49,689||2,316||566||193||33||21||2|
|Transportation and storage||818||370||244||118||62||14||10||0|
|Accommodation and food service activities||11,136||7,209||2,750||870||256||33||18||0|
|Information and communication||319||159||78||41||31||4||4||2|
|Financial and insurance activities||2,369||1,715||330||209||76||11||19||9|
|Real estate activities||44||13||12||12||6||0||1||0|
|Professional scientific and technical activities||1,015||650||211||96||35||17||5||1|
|Administrative and support service activities||957||450||178||114||129||47||33||6|
|Public administration and defence; compulsory social security||4,607||2,524||1,052||539||278||104||89||21|
|Human health and social work activities||4,763||2,656||1,143||561||241||62||86||14|
|Arts, entertainment and recreation||239||143||53||26||12||3||2||0|
|Other service activities||5,868||4,172||962||492||204||27||9||2|
|Activities of extra-territorial organizations and bodies||6||2||2||1||1||0||0||0|
|Source: National Bureau of Statistics(Business Registry 2014/15)|
The 2012 Census includes data on assets in households. In 2012, most households in Tanzania had access to mobile phones. In addition, radio access was also widespread. The Project will require access to mobile phones, but the Project will develop products for distribution through both radio and television.
|Type of Asset||Tanzania Households (%)|
|Source: Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, Census 2012|
In 2017, mobile cell phone subscriptions totalled 69.7 percent of inhabitants. While some Tanzanians may have multiple subscriptions, it is likely that cell phone users are high.
Broadband subscriptions (fixed and mobile) amounted to 8.9 percent of inhabitants. Only 4 percent of households had computers at home, but 14.4 percent had internet access at home (presumably through smart phones). Sixteen percent of individuals had internet access. While the percentages are appear small, the absolute numbers behind the percentages are in the millions and give the Project a large potential market, because Tanzania has a large population..
|Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants||0.2|
|Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants||69.7|
|Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants||0.2|
|Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants||8.7|
|Households with a computer (%)||4.0|
|Households with Internet access at home (%)||14.4|
|Individuals using the Internet (%)||16.0|
|Source: International Telecommunications Union|
Internet users in Tanzania are increasing rapidly. From 2006 to 2016, users have increased by 5.5 times. In the period 2010 to 2016, users have increased by 2.2 times, with additional users increasing by about 261,976 per year. By the time the two-year development phase of the Project is complete and the Project is fully operational, one can anticipate another 500,000 internet users in Tanzania.
|Year||Internet Users||Penetration(% of Pop)||Population||1 Year User Change|
|Source: Internet Live Statistics|
There were 6,100,000 Facebook subscribers in Tanzania as of December 31, 2017 and Facebook accounted for 85.78 percent of total users. This suggests 7,111,215 total users. By December 2018, there were 4,290,000 Facebook users and Facebook accounted for 61.03 percent, suggesting total social media users at 7,029,330. While the usage of individual platforms may fluctuate over time, the number of social media users appears to be in the 7 million range. The numbers suggest a large population with internet access and knowledge. Social media offers a mechanism for delivery the business knowledge base and for enhancing the awareness and access to the knowledge base.
|Source: Internet World Statistics|
Regardless of platform, men appear to use social media more than women and most of the users are in the 18 to 34 age bracket.
|Of Which by Gender (% Total)|
|Of Which by Age (% Total)|
|Source: NapoleonCat.Com - a social media consultant|
There are computers in Tanzania that could house and provide access to a business knowledge base. As identified above, there are up to 2,000 professional businesses that could potentially advise small businesses and that could use the knowledge base to do so. Additionally, in 2016 there were 73,770 desktop and laptop computers in private and government secondary schools that likely have unused space on their hard drives that could house standalone versions of the knowledge base.
|ICT Equipment Type||Number|
|Source: Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training|
The number of existing and aspiring entrepreneurs is large. The absolute number of individuals with internet access is also large and growing rapidly. There is no other entity providing a competing digitally delivered Swahili essential business knowledge base. This translates into a large potential market for the Project.
The development costs are not large, because a considerable component of the knowledge base would be available from the world's primary and secondary government business knowledge bases at no charge and there would be a relatively small cost to making this knowledge base available in Tanzania.
Once in place, the knowledge base is relatively stable and unchanging over time, since business best practices do not change rapidly. This gives the completed Project a long lifespan at little additional cost.
Statistics about internet use in Tanzania collectively point to significant and growing use.
According to the International Telecommunications Union, in 2017, there were 8.9 broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, of which 8.7 subscriptions were mobile and 0.2 subscriptions were hardwired. Four percent of households had a computer, but 14.4 percent had internet access at home and 16 percent of individuals were using the internet.
According to Internet Live Statistics, in 2016 there were 2,895,662 internet users in Tanzania, representing 5.3 percent of the population. In the period 2010 to 2016, users have increased 2.2 times, with additional users increasing by about 261,976 per year. By the time the proposed Knowledge Base is online, there are likely to be an additional half million internet users in Tanzania.
Even if a small percentage of total users are interested in starting a business, the potential reach of the Project is large, particularly when compared with the reach of current business development mechanisms such as advisory services and training courses.
Regarding existing businesses, in 2014-2015, there were 154,618 businesses employing at least 1 person. In addition, there are a large number of businesses operated by self-employed individuals but without employees. These existing businesses would likely welcome and benefit from how-to best-practices for operating a business. For example, the 154,618 businesses with employees would be interested in best employment practices, while the 54,017 manufacturing businesses would be interested in best-practices on sales, marketing and exporting.
Although the internet would be the primary delivery mechanism for the knowledge base, the content would be distributed through other digital mechanisms.
The system would be designed so that it can be easily added to networks and computers through memory sticks, compact disks and DVDs. Parties potentially interested in putting the knowledge base on their computers include government agencies, private consultants, banks, business organizations, universities and university colleges, training institutions, and secondary schools.
Cell phone subscriptions amounted to 69.7 percent of Tanzania's population. There may be innovative ways to set up mobile access systems to audio files. Call centres, where operators connect callers to relevant audio files, are one possibility. Well-trained call centre operators could use the knowledge base to verbally pass on the content. Another option is call-menu systems to link callers with relevant audio files.
By providing essential knowledge to entrepreneurs, it would provide key support for these entrepreneurs and their businesses at a critical time in the development of the business. Simple suggestions can mean the difference between success and failure.
It supports the development of more effective business advisory services provided by the Government of Tanzania, non-government organizations, and private business advisers. When a prospective entrepreneur or an existing business approaches a business adviser, the knowledge base would enable the adviser to provide information outside his/her area of expertise. For example, an engineer could assist with sales and marketing issues. The knowledge base provides the adviser with the opportunity to supplement verbal advice with a printed document. The knowledge base would allow non-professional staff in the office to provide assistance in the areas covered by the knowledge base, and thereby allow the expert advisers to focus on those queries that go beyond the knowledge base.
It provides a base for the development of business training programs from universities and university colleges in Tanzania (public and private) and for the incorporation of business knowledge content into non-business training courses. According to Wikipedia, there are 26 universities and 15 university colleges in Tanzania. For those institutions wishing to start or enhance their courses targeted at aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, the knowledge base would provide a structure and tool for their course development, as well as an ongoing resource for course students and graduates. The SIDO website lists training programmes in Tanzania. While there was a business element within many of these courses, most programmes typically focused on technical subjects (e.g. food processing, sewing related) rather than generic business practices. The knowledge base would provide business advice to supplement the technical advice provided through these training courses. It would also provide ongoing support for the entrepreneurs once they have finished the course.
The knowledge base and the Tanzanian experience would provide a model for business development initiatives in other jurisdictions.
The English version of the knowledge base, both adapted for Tanzania and the pre-adaptation version, would be available for other jurisdictions by the end of the Project. In addition, the design and perhaps coding of the website could also be available. Knowledge with the Project, including its strong points and weaknesses, would also remain and could be applied in other jurisdictions.
Note that the knowledge base would be of particular interest to those who speak Swahili, including residents of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. According to Wikipedia, the number of native and second language speakers is in the 50 to 100 million range.
Examples include agriculture, health, education and tourism. While the knowledge is different, the digital delivery mechanisms are similar.
Key questions involve who might be interested in implementing the Project, and how might the Project be financed. Since essential knowledge base will be designed for users that will generally be unable to pay for the service, those implementing the Project will need to find a way to finance the work and costs.
In this model, an individual, presumably one with the skills of the Content Officer/Project Manager, would decide to implement the Project as a business. Financing options include:
In this model, a public sector organization would undertake the Project as a service to citizens of the country. For Tanzania, the organization would presumably be the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO). Providing a useful service with high visibility would be politically appealing.
The challenges in the public sector model include hiring staff with appropriate skills, responding dynamically to an evolving world, resisting bureaucracy, resisting political pressures from interests that may feel threatened by competing projects, and be unable to pursue related opportunities outside the country or outside the business sector.
International non-governmental development organizations may have a strong interest in seeing the Project complete, may be willing to provide financing, but would likely be interested in finding a domestic partner to implement the work. Domestic non-government development organizations may see the Project as within their mandate and have a strong interest in undertaking the Project as a service.
Domestic development organizations may have an interest in applying the model in other sectors.
International organizations may have an interest in applying the digital model for doing development in other jurisdictions and both business and other sectors.
Larger corporations may be interested in pursuing Project if they see some corporate benefit that justifies the cost. For example, banks may be interested if the Project can increase the visibility of the bank, leading to more commercial and personal loans and other business. Business consulting organizations may see the Project as a means to attract clients.
International banks and other organizations could use the technology, translations and knowledge base from the Project in other jurisdictions, thereby reducing the costs in these other jurisdictions.
Educational Institutions could have an academic interest in researching and developing the knowledge base, and digital technologies for its distribution. The findings could be the basis for not only courses, but also student projects and faculty research. The Project could be a dynamic link between their programmes and the business community. Educational institutions may see an institutional interest in a highly visible and relevant public service.
The partnerships model envisages the engagement of a number of organizations in the Project. Educational institutions might focus on developing the knowledge base. Banks, consulting agencies and other organizations might be interested in a sponsorship role, providing funding in return to recognition and perhaps forms of privileged access to the knowledge base. International and domestic development agency may be willing to provide financial assistance in return for privileged access to the knowledge base and digital technologies for application in other jurisdictions and sectors. To the extent that foreign governments provide significant components to the knowledge base, they may be willing to cover translation services, particularly in return to recognition of their contributions to the knowledge base.
A challenge for the entrepreneurial forces behind the Project to assemble the partnerships in a simple and constructive way.