Six Tanzanian companies taking advantage of a changing economy

3. Juabar

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Energy company Juabar uses a franchise network of micro-business owners to offer phone charging services in off-grid areas using solar-powered kiosks.

The Juabar kiosk is a mobile, light-blue, small wagon, almost similar to what is used by ice-cream vendors. It can charge up to 20 phones at a time. The franchisees, called ‘Juapreneurs’, receive financing, technical support and sales training. They charge between 300 and 500 Tanzanian shillings ($0.14 to $0.23) to charge one phone, and are at liberty to set prices based on market dynamics. In return, they pay a monthly fee of 80,000 shillings ($37) to operate the kiosk as franchisees.

“I am from the US and most people there ask how we can take such a lot of money from people here. The interesting thing is that some of our entrepreneurs make up to three times what they pay us,” says Juabar co-founder Sachi DeCou. “[Initially] we were warned that franchisees would disappear with our kits. We thought about it a lot in the beginning and it was a big concern. But no one has ever run away with any of our kiosks.”

4. Akemi


Akemi is Tanzania’s first revolving restaurant. Established two years ago on the 21st floor of a commercial building in Dar es Salaam, it has become akin to a tourist site. Its clients include city workers, government officials, business people and tourists. Every day the restaurant offers a lunch buffet where diners pay Tsh.30,000 (US$14) to enjoy the food and beautiful views of the Indian Ocean, the harbour and the city.

“People feel excited when they come here and see the views. They can’t believe Tanzania has a revolving restaurant,” says co-founder Priya Kanabar.

But running the restaurant is challenging and not as glamorous as one would imagine. To get it right Kanabar advises entrepreneurs to have a clear plan in the beginning, understand the basics such as their target clientele, make arrangements with reliable vendors and hire the best talent.

“You should have lots of patience and be flexible enough to adapt to changes as the market dictates,” she says.