Afbeelding: photo 2
Landscape area that Conservation International wishes to protect from further environmental degradation.

MMA explores options for financing environmental friendly SMEs

Match Maker Associates Limited (MMA) was commissioned by Conservation International (CI) to undertake an assessment of market conditions, SMEs and identification of priority sub sectors for growth and innovation. Also to assess the presence and interest of local partners in selected landscape sites in Sumbawanga District Council, Sumbawanga Municipal Council, Nkasi District Council and Ludewa District Council.

Verde Ventures Fund (VV) is an investment fund managed by Conservation International (CI) to provide support for businesses that deliver environmental, socioeconomic and financial benefits. The Verde Ventures Fund invests directly in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by providing debt and equity financing to businesses that benefit healthy ecosystems and human well-being. Examples of such businesses are in the sectors of alternative energy, agroforestry, ecotourism, sustainable harvest of wild products and marine and fisheries initiatives. In this article we share the outcomes of our study on financing environmental friendly SMEs.

Market conditions and opportunities in these landscape sites were examined with the goal of selecting sub sectors with growth potential, environmental friendly and that could contribute to reduction on poverty levels, essentially sub sector selection methodology was adopted to undertake this exercise. The final consolidated ranking for cluster 1 resulted in maize been ranked the highest with a score of 84.40% followed by sunflower that scored 78.12%. Paddy and honey scored 78.04% and 73.27% respectively. Solar energy and groundnuts scored the lowest. The participant’s of the sub sector selection meeting for cluster 2 resulted again with maize as the highest with a score of 86.78% followed by honey that scored 84.38%. Sunflower came third with a score of 82.73%. Solar energy scored the lowest.

Generally it was concluded that the competitiveness of most sub sectors in both clusters are quite low despite the huge potential of the respective regions. Most SMEs in both clusters are emerging with minimum financial needs. They are predominantly small and in the initial stages of commercialisation. All landscape sites are lagging behind in SME development because until recently the sites were not having tarmacked roads and there were no electricity connection; consequently all sites have until recently been disconnected to the major markets like Dar es Salaam and neighbouring countries namely DRC, Zambia, Malawi and Burundi. The opening of tarmac road network in all landscape sites and the newly installed coal mine, iron ore mine, coal-fired power plant and steel works at the Liganga (iron ore) and nearby Mchuchuma (coal) in Ludewa district, just to the south of Njombe could make the Ludewa landscape site even more competitive.

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