African Development Bank supports Tanzanian entrepreneurs with loan facility


Tanzania has seen significant economic growth in recent years, thanks in part to support from the African Development Bank. The Small Entrepreneurs Loan Facility (SELF) financed by the Bank has provided a boost to the country’s rural entrepreneurs and has contributed to reducing poverty in the country, creating jobs and improving lives. The loan facility provides US $29 million support to entrepreneurs.

Key facts:

  • Loan amount: US $29 million
  • Approval date: May 10, 2010
  • Date of last disbursement: December 31, 2015
  • Beneficiaries: Rural entrepreneurs through the Government of Tanzania


The overall goal of the Small Entrepreneurs Loan Facility (SELF) project is to contribute to reducing poverty in Tanzania. The objective of the project is to improve access by the poor, especially in rural areas, to financial services, and to enable them engage in viable income-generating activities.

The Impacts

Capacity building training provided to 16,720 people: 

  • 4,499 Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) personnel
  • 11,619 final beneficiaries
  • 518 district cooperation officers and 84 credit managers

Loans provided to 105,788 beneficiaries through 432 MFIs (250 located in rural areas, 60 in peri-urban and 122 in urban areas.):

  • 46,547 men (43%)
  • 59,241 women (56%)

The project covers 101 districts out of targeted 141 districts with loan services (by June 2015)

Capacity of MFIs enhanced

  • Micro Finance Institutions graduated to intermediary and advanced institutions, which are growing and able to borrow from commercial sources.

Job creation

  • 227,600 full-time jobs (new jobs and business owners)
  • 408,096 seasonal or casual job opportunities
  • about 44.3% of jobs created for women

Improved livelihoods

Increased incomes for entrepreneurs have been translated to:

  • social and livelihood improvements
  • better dwellings, nutrition
  • asset acquisition
  • education and health support to children and other family members


  • SELF was transformed into a corporate entity called the Small Entrepreneurs Loan Facility Microfinance Fund.


Flora Mwakanyamala, a client of Makambako Community Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs)

Flora Mwakanyamala, a client of Makambako Community Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs), is watching her business grow after receiving loans. Her business capital has grown and she now transports timber from upcountry (Iringa) to Dar es Salaam, where there are bigger business opportunities. She enjoys greater profits by cutting out intermediaries.

Christina Ntungi of Ufumwa Community Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs)

Christina Ntungi of Ufumwa Community Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) in Mwanza, has accessed three loan cycles: she started with Tsh 1.0 million and currently she is servicing a loan of Tshs. 5.0 million. Her key business financed by the loans is poultry rearing (above). Using manure from the poultry, she developed a new business with her vegetable garden as shown below. She now realizes more income and can repay her loan without difficulties. She can now afford to pay school fees for her children and her family’s nutrition has improved.

Serefina Kawage, a professional nurse (centre)

Serefina Kawage, a professional nurse (centre), in her pharmacy, which was expanded after she received a Tsh. 20-million loan from Makambako Community Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs). She has accessed five consecutive loan cycles and she repays the loans in a timely manner. She now has three full-time employees. Her income has increased and she manages to pay children’s school fees at the secondary school and university level. Kawage has also helped finance her husband’s farming activities.