Two young Tanzanian entrepreneurs stand smiling in their workshop while holding charcoal

Thirteen agriculture projects were awarded grants that is allowing young farmers to start small businesses in Tanzania as part of the Youth INVEST Project. 

Challenge grants help young entrepreneurs launch innovative agriculture businesses in Tanzania

  • Gary Fields
  • Apr 4, 2019
Giving young people a chance in agriculture

At just 19 years old, Upendo has launched an innovative business in Tanzania manufacturing cooking briquettes made from sugar cane instead of wood to help curb deforestation.  

Ezekiel Lucas is a 21-year-old entrepreneur in the poultry industry. He’s raised the nutritional value of eggs by changing what the hens are fed. He hopes that his new hatchery business will help meet the needs of nutrition deficiencies in the Morogoro community.  

Their budding success is thanks — in large part — to the opportunity you provided.

Launched in 2017 the program has expanded exponentially and provided experience

Upendo and Ezekiel were both awarded start-up capital — in the form of challenge grants — for their promising business proposals developed as part of their vocational training program in Tanzania.  

The grants are part of Lutheran World Relief’s efforts to better prepare young people for viable careers in agriculture.  

The work launched in 2017 in partnership with the Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture and, since that time, we’ve developed a first-class curriculum for agricultural vocational training schools informed by findings from our comprehensive labor market study.  

We’ve established a paid internship program with private agribusinesses to provide students with practical experience.  

And we’ve launched the challenge grant opportunity.  

All of this adds up to a more skilled and experienced young work force to support the agriculture industry — the engine that drives the economies of many developing nations, like Tanzania.  

In Tanzania, as in many countries across the globe, companies don’t hire recent graduates because they lack the practical, hands-on experience needed to be successful.  

Moses Kabogo, Senior Program Manager for Lutheran World Relief joins the Ministry of Agriculture to launch the INVEST project's revised curriculum into implementation for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond in Morogoro, Tanzania.

New curriculum in all 36 vocational training schools

The new, improved curriculum is changing that reality. The curriculum is already in practice at two schools and will be implemented through capacity building trainings for teachers in all 36 of Tanzania’s vocational training programs by September 2019, ultimately reaching more than 25,000 students.  

And we’ll continue to expand the internship program — which now stands at 25 month-long positions — to provide more opportunity for students. 

For Upenda, Ezekiel and the 11 other projects 

“I don’t think I ever could have [launched this business] without the money,” Upendo says. “I think my idea will develop and my future will be bright.”  

Gary Fields, Apr 4, 2019 email