The fruits of Panda Digital continue to ripen and benefit Tanzanian young women entrepreneurs in many ways. For the first time, on the 11th of May 2022, Her initiative team through its Panda Digital platform successfully participated in Innovation Week Tanzania, a national event that takes place annually organized by FUNGUO Innovation Program under UNDP Tanzania in partnership with COSTECH and EU in Tanzania.
The workshop dubbed “Smarter Small Enterprises” aimed primarily at empowering young female entrepreneurs to start and run sustainable businesses in the digital economy. The dialogue aimed to help young women-led small businesses succeed by teaching them the basic skills needed to take advantage of digital opportunities. The dialogue inspired the transition of the old brick-and-mortar model to a new way of smarter small enterprises. That will promote girls and young women with knowledge and skills to run better, more successful, and longer enterprises.
Young people led the Smarter Small Enterprise with adverse knowledge and experience of running a sustainable business in the digital economy. Domitila Relationship Officer from Access Bank, Ms. Sekela Yona Gender Specialist from DOT Tanzania, Mr. Baraka Mafole Digital entrepreneur, Mr. Given Edward founder of Mtabe and MyElimu Innovations, and Ms. Lisma Singano Entrepreneur.
The Executive Director of Her Initiative Ms. Lydia Charles opened the event by giving a brief description of the event and a bit introduction about Her Initiative. In her speech, she highlighted the success of Panda Digital after one year since its inception.
During the panel discussion, each panelist was able to share their opinions on the topic accordingly. Ms. Sekela Yona, a gender expert aired out her thoughts on the Gender Gap being the main challenge to young women entrepreneurs in the digital economy, as she was quoted saying “The digital gender divide has been recognized as a challenge to achieve gender equality for women, particularly as the 4th Industrial Revolution continues to increase the pace of change of information and communication technologies (ICTs)” she continues saying that “By 2022, 60% of global GDP will be digitized. The extent of this impact on our education needs, our societal structures, our legal frameworks, and economic strategies, is still unknown, but urgent action is needed to ensure the benefits of these transformations are distributed equally.”
On the same note Ms. Lisma, an entrepreneur shared her success story of using digital platforms to scale up her business. She mentioned how the effective utilization of social media platforms influenced the improvement of her business and urged all young women entrepreneurs to transform their businesses immediately to keep pace with the digital economy. The panel continued and Ms. Domitila who is from the microfinance sector, elaborated on the importance of women using Financial technology in business, this includes all transactions made by using mobile apps, banks, and many other ways of Fintech, on the side of women’s awareness to Fintech she said “there is a massive opportunity for young women entrepreneurs to take learnings from the traditional financial services in businesses, as well as what we’re seeing in tech. There has been a lot of talk about women’s engagement in finance and technology over the last few years. This is a complex issue and judging by the little change we’ve witnessed, more work still needs to be done to change the status quo”. And our last panelist Mr. Baraka who is a digitalpreneur on his contribution to the topic he said “The idea of working from anywhere in the world and making extra income while you sleep is always very enticing, isn’t it? And it always comes up when we talk about digital entrepreneurship”
The debate touched and aroused the emotions of many entrepreneurs who came to the workshop to understand better the opportunities contained in the digital economy, How to meet the challenges they face in running a business in line with all that was discussed and presented by our topic leaders.
During the discussion, Tariq Ghusuob, communications officer from Her Initiative nailed a point on how digital transformation is inevitable. He suggested that for young women entrepreneurs to succeed in their business ventures they should immediately pace with the digital economy race. He also narrated a short brief about Panda Digital and how it has changed the lives of more than 2000 young women entrepreneurs in and outside Tanzania. Lastly, he gave a short orientation on how to use Panda Digital.