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