Company History

The Centre for Sustainable Development Initiatives (CSDI) is a not for profit company, registered on the 12th July 2001 under the Companies ordinance cap 212, with reg. No. 41710. Since year 2002, CSDI has been working as partner organization to the United State African Development Foundation (USADF) responsible for implementing the USADF program in Tanzania. This program focuses on supporting SMES development mainly through provision of grants and technical assistance.

CSDI has over eight (10) years of experience in working with SMEs (particularly agro-processing value addition) and other grass roots organizations. In working with this sector, CSDI has strived to learn from the challenges and opportunities that have come out of their engagement with SMEs and other supported grass root organizations.

Brief Critical Success factors

CSDI understands that SMEs face major challenges in designing viable projects and/or business plans, they have low management and leadership capacity in implementing projects and running their businesses, low understanding of the markets that they serve, low capacity in financial management, and accountability skills, poor usage and application of technology in products improvement through quality and quantity, limited access to credit facilities to expand their projects and businesses.

CSDI as an organization has developed a strong team of experts that are highly specialized in delivering project management and BDS services to supported clients.

As regards to marketing, CSDI through full participation of the targeted clients, will strive to walk them through the process of accessing, understanding, negotiating, and fulfilling the needs of the market in a sustainable manner. One of the tools that have been deployed includes clustering of clients serving same markets, e.g. ongoing “Buyer Linkages Program (BLP)” as well as detailed value chain analysis and development, financial intermediation and market linkage.

On efficient technology use for improving products in quantity and quality that the markets need, CSDI has successfully continued to expand its strategy using specialized technology providers through partnerships and special contracts. Existing examples include the Tea Research Institute of Tanzania (TRIT), and Marketing Intermediary Management (MIM) in assisting respectively tea producers and fresh vegetable/fruits to produce products that are certified to meet the needs of the EU market and similar quality conscious markets.

CSDI has started implementing plans to apply new initiatives in SMEs investment through the following models:

  1. Business Incubation Programs in partnership with other institutions such as University of Dar es Salaam Business/Technology Incubation Project, UDEC and SIDO
  2. Innovative financing mechanisms e.g. through partnership with Government of Tanzania and the business community, Re- investment commitments, etc
  3. Micro franchising programs through partnership with other Institutions such as SIDO and UDEC in capitalizing on the emerging opportunities e.g. bio fuels and increased food returns from food production.

Objectives of CSDI

  • To build capacity of the existing and potential small and micro enterprises so that they become more business/commercial- oriented rather than subsistence-oriented.
  • To develop sustainable mutually beneficial relationships among small scale producers, middlemen, large scale producers and final consumers, both within the country, in the region and internationally.
  • To assist enterprises communities and community based organizations to identify and effectively exploit resources and possibilities available for increasing income, jobs and enhancing their standards of life.
  • To identify, develop and utilize resources available among the unemployed, school and college students for enterprise and community development.
  • To develop, document, disseminate and use lessons and best practices in the area of community and enterprise development.
  • To collaborate with individuals, enterprises and institutions having similar, related or complimentary aims.