(L) Eric Mutta. is a 29 year-old Tanzanian software engineer who recently secured over half a billion shillings (equivalent to $328,000) in grant funding. The grant was awarded on the 18th June 2013 software startup Problem Solved Ltd, founded in 2008. It comes from the Financial Services Deepening Trust (FSDT – www.fsdt.or.tz) as part of the competitive SME Finance Innovation Challenge Fund, in which Problem Solved Ltd defeated 13 companies to emerge the winner.(C)Sosthenes Kawe Technical Director of (FSDT) (R) Christian Mpalanzi SME FINACE INNOVATION CHALLENGE FUND
The objective is to improve the way Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) keep financial records by providing them with an affordable and user-friendly accounting package called Minishop. Better financial records make it easier to apply for loans that can be used to grow the business, increase employment and contribute to government revenues.
Of the 130,000 SMEs in Tanzania that should keep electronic financial records, only 900 currently do so (i.e. less than one percent). I will be using the funds to close this gap, by hiring up to 7 employees, purchasing 500 laptops to be bundled and sold with Minishop, and developing other supporting systems (mobile payment collection).
I would like to thank the FSDT for supporting this new approach to solving the long-standing problem of SME access to finance. Participating in the second round of the challenge has made my company stronger and I encourage other entrepreneurs, young and old, to give it their best and apply in the upcoming third round.