Tag Archives: microfinance

Where to put the tourist dollars

Lucky/unlucky Tanzania is poor enough, but also stable enough, to attract thousands of international NGOs.

One of the more unusual ones in Dar es Salaam is Investours, a non-profit that combines microlending with tourism.* Visitors spend the day with local business owners and afterwards decide which one gets a loan, funded by the tour fees. A few months later, the money is repaid: the local microfinance bank responsible for prescreening businesses and administering loans keeps 30%, and the rest goes to Investours to cover their operational costs.

It’s not running perfectly yet – I did the tour over a month ago and am still waiting for the promised updates from the hair salon I selected, and for an invitation to the Investours online “community”. Continue reading

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