Catalyzing transitions to employment and firm development for youth and women – evidence from Tanzania’s Economic Empowerment Scheme
This project analyzes Tanzania’s Economic Empowerment Scheme (EES), a national program established in 2019 to promote employment and firm development, particularly for youth, women and differently abled persons. The scheme provides training and financial assistance to promote self-employment, start-ups and firm growth.
The research team will undertake the first comparative study of EES performance and what may account for different results in different regions. EES is administered by local government authorities who have the responsibility to design and implement the EES in their jurisdictions. Administrative data published by the national government indicates variable financial support and loan repayment rates across the local government authorities. These and other differences will be investigated through an analysis of how the local government authorities implement the scheme, the role of business training within and outside the tertiary education sector, and the extent to which intended outcomes are emerging. The decentralized administration of this national scheme presents an important opportunity to understand how different approaches in the design and implementation of a training and financial support scheme can best support youth, women and differently abled persons.
From this analysis, the team will propose recommendations to strengthen the EES’ policy, legal and implementation framework. Informed by surveys and interview data, the findings will identify socio-cultural and academic barriers that influence career aspiration and transition into self-employment and firm development among intended beneficiaries. The team will collaborate with and present their findings and recommendations to the oversight body for local government authorities and the National Economic Empowerment Council.