In Tanzania, many women struggle to access vital resources, such as land and credit, as well as education and economic opportunities. For female entrepreneurs who are looking to start or expand a business, these challenges can seriously hinder their ability to achieve their full potential.

To help women overcome these barriers, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation and the Tanzania Gatsby Trust (TGT), delivered an innovative package of support designed to strengthen women-owned businesses in Tanzania. Together, we provided over 260 women entrepreneurs with services and training on a range of vital skills, including business registration and rights awareness.

At the end of the project in 2016, an evaluation undertaken with 114 women found that:

  • 100% of the women now keep records
  • 99% of the women feel more confident
  • 92% of the women increased their sales
  • 72% of the women are saving through their businesses

The evaluation also found that household members, relatives and the wider community benefited from the women’s improved financial situation:

  • 97% of the women confirmed that their increased business revenue led to better household nutrition
  • 94% of the women reported that they had improved their children’s education, due to their increased ability to pay school fees
  • Over 70 of the women had taken on leadership roles in their communities

Read more detail about the results of the project.

When this project started it also included a mobile service for women entrepreneurs. Launched in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation and Nokia in 2012, Business Women was an innovative service which provided 100,000 women across Tanzania, Nigeria and Indonesia with business tips and training via their mobile phones. In 2014 an evaluation of the service found that the Business Women service delivered powerful results, empowering women entrepreneurs to feel more confident and optimistic, and less constrained about their life chances.


exxon mobil

The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation. Since 2005, the ExxonMobil Foundation has helped women in developing countries fulfil their economic potential and drive economic and social change in their communities. To date, it has invested nearly $100 million to help community-based and global partners implement programs directly benefiting tens of thousands of women in over 90 countries.

tanzania gatsby

Founded in 1992, Tanzania Gatsby Trust (TGT) is a charitable trust which aims to help alleviate poverty by enabling hundreds of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to carry out productive and profitable enterprises. TGT as one of the stakeholders in SMEs development in Tanzania relentlessly pursues its mission, which is “to harness, channel and unleash human energy to build social, financial and physical capital through entrepreneurship development”.


Evaluating Our Business Women Service

Published: November 2014
Together with the ExxonMobil Foundation we have published a report, Evaluating Business Women, a Mobile Value Added Service for Women Entrepreneurs. The Business Women service was designed through a partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation and Nokia to deliver business training specifically tailored for women entrepreneurs via SMS. Since it first launched in 2012, the service has reached over 100,000 women in Nigeria, Indonesia and Tanzania.

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