From December 11-13, 2013, twenty four local managers, board members and accountants representing nine community radios in Tanzania (Kyela, Sengerema, FADECO, Orkonorei FM, Kahama, Mtegani, Micheweni, Pangani and Pambazuko) met in a capacity building gathering with the purpose of enhancing their knowledge and skills at their work places. The event was facilitated by UNESCO and supported by SIDA through the project “Empowering Local Radios with ICTs.”
The participants had an opportunity to share experiences and ideas on how to make their radio stations sustainable. One way of attaining sustainability is through sourcing finances in proper ways – fundraising. Funds can be raised through short and long term approaches and both have different dimensions of availability. Fund raising is possible through a guidance of a good business plan. Like other bankable documents, business plan charts the environment through which an organization can steer its way to prosperity, and provides financiers with a clue on entry points for their support.
Participants were earlier introduced to the basics of business plans and asked to come up with draft documents of their work stations. During their initial exercise, most participants confused business plans with proposals. The workshop therefore spent a good time on making distinctions between proposal, write-up, feasibility studies and business plan. Whereas as a concept note, write up and proposal are initial stages of any bankable document, business plan and feasibility study are appropriate for micro and macro entities respectively.
Participants were then taken through the entire eight items of a business plan. The items include introduction, the project, situation analysis, management and organization, operational aspects and marketing characteristics. Other themes include financial analysis as well recommendations and conclusion. Both items were furnished with sub-items for detailed report.
Individually and through radio stations, participants seriously engaged in the details of generic business plan through question and answer with their facilitator, Mr Wilbert Kitima. The exercise became interesting towards the end when everybody realized he/she was heading for a technical documents which every bank will appreciate to use as a guide for financing.