Amar Said Slim, 44, is now the proud owner of three milling machines and a brick-laying factory, courtesy of PRIDE of Tanzania.
Slim, a father of five, was born in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region, to the family of Mr Said Slim and Mrs. Zuwena Amar. He attended primary school at Igusule Primary School, Nzega District, Tabora, from 1968 to 1974; he then joined Kwiro Secondary School in Morogoro in 1975, completing his studies in 1978. He is married to Fatuma Slim.
He was employed by the then National Bank of Commerce in 1979 as bank clerk and five years later he was promoted to the position of branch accountant. After the bank's privatisation, he was retrenched in 1996. He then opted for self-employment, buying a milling machine.
However, this business had little economic impact in terms of Slim's standards of living. Fortunately, by January 1999, Slim heard from his neighbours about PRIDE Tanzania's soft loans. He immediately joined PRIDE Tanzania's Dodoma Branch in March 1999. He used earlier loans with the little savings he possessed as his working capital to purchase two electrical milling machines worth Tsh1.6 million.
He recently received a Tsh3-million loan from PRIDE Tanzania with which he decided to diversify his business by establishing a bricks factory and has won a tender to supply foodstuff to some schools in the Dodoma Municipality.
The loans from PRIDE Tanzania have assured Slim of school fees for his children and a better life. His future plans are to purchase a commuter minibus and to open up a grinding machine business in Dar es Salaam.
Slim says his major challenge is stiff competition from competitors, hence his move to diversify into the brick factory business and the foodstuff supplies. He advises PRIDE Tanzania to diversify its products by issuing individual loans. Slim encourages other potential clients to join PRIDE so as to access soft loans.