A recent article in The Citizen, a Tanzania based newspaper, recognizes local businesswoman and chairperson of the Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce for her entrepreneurial successes not only in the business world, but in the local community as well. Dina Bina, owner of Dina Flowers, is somewhat of a celebrity in the entrepreneurship network of Tanzania, but this has not always been the case. As the article points out, before winning a contract to revamp the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in 1997 Dina was starting her own business in a seemingly obscure industry at the time. With the help of her family Dina was able to transform five bunches of flowers given to her by her sister-in-law into a thriving flower shop and interior design business.
According to Dina the secret to her success is not being ashamed. She views being a woman as an advantage rather than a detriment, arguing that “what many women do not understand is that they actually have a lot of advantages when it comes to doing business. As a woman I can carry buckets of juice for sell in the office, even while wearing my suit.” She goes on to explain how, in contrast to men, women can do business anywhere. “A man in the office might feel embarrassed to sell peanuts to his co-workers because of ego problems. But a woman can do it.”
Dina also gives back to her community by working with local farmers and youth entrepreneurs. Recognizing that produce from local farmers often goes to waste, she created a project in the Lushoto District supplying the produce to hotels and supermarkets. Dina also sells flowers at wholesale to youth entrepreneurs and teaches them English phrases to help them communicate with customers. The article clearly articulates how Dina has not only become a successful businesswoman, but how her story has inspired others following in her entrepreneurial footsteps.