Chai Bora

All stories Published: 28 November 2016


90 per cent of Tanzania’s poor live in rural communities. Investing in businesses helps to create the jobs needed to lift people out of poverty, and provide them with the dignity and means to help themselves.  

Although nine in 10 jobs in developing countries are created by the private sector, businesses often find it difficult to access the finance to help them grow. For example, Tanzania is ranked 132nd out of 190 in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ratingswhich can put off investors and lenders, no matter how promising the business.

How Chai Bora supports jobs

Chai Bora, a Tanzanian tea manufacturing company we’re invested in, has around 300 permanent employees. Of that number, nearly 200 are based at its processing factory in Mafinga, a town in the rural Southern Highlands of the country. 

The company has an open and non-discriminatory approach when it comes to its employees and many of its staff are living with HIV. Having a job means they’re able to access treatment and the company ensures they have enough money to pay for medication.  

Hawa’s story

Hawa Zaveli Mgulunde – who lives with HIV – works at the Chai Bora factory in Mafinga. A regular income has allowed her to pay for treatment and has offered her with the stability to plan for the future. She’s been able to pay for her children’s education, and she now keeps a small commercial garden and rears chickens. 

Hawa says Chai Bora’s success has been hugely important to the community in Mafinga: “Tea has really changed people’s lives. People have been able to build houses, some have bought vehicles, motor bikes.”

How we’re invested in Chai Bora

To address the lack of commercial capital available for businesses in East Africa, in 2012, we invested US$15m in a fund set up by Catalyst Principal Partners. The fund provides much needed investment to help businesses in the region to grow. 

A year after our initial investment, Catalyst took a controlling stake in Chai Bora. When we invest, we offer more than money to help a business flourish, we’re supporting the company to ensure its sustainable as well as successful. For example, our Environmental and Social Responsibility team are working with Chai Bora to introduce a series of measures aimed at improving health and safety, job quality and energy efficiency.