Sharif Mohamed Haji, CEO of TEDT and Spectrum Solutions

Nov 22, 2023
Sharif Mohamed Haji, CEO of TEDT and Spectrum Solutions

Please tell us your name, where your business is located and what is it that you do?

My name is Sharif Mohamed Haji and I am the CEO of Tanzania Education and Development Trust, located in Dar es Salaam. TEDT is a registered Trust in Tanzania offering education soft loans to higher learning students. I am also the founder and CEO of Spectrum Solutions located in Zanzibar. Spectrum Solutions is a social enterprise solution firm established to help non-profit organisations and youth to secure sustainability financially.Tell us about how you got started.

As CEO of TEDT I was selected among many other talented and qualified applicants and I managed to stand out as a business leader. As the Founder and CEO of Spectrum Solution, I recognised my potential in the field of financial sustainability after working with Nice Tanzania as an Associate Consultant of the Sustain Project. This was a very rare professional skill for both the non-profit and profit making industries. After realising that there is a gap, I decided to start my own firm to help non-profit organisations and youths acquire sustainability financing.

What makes your company unique?

At TEDT we offer interest free study loans in Tanzania and we also help the youth to secure employment and opportunities to boost their entrepreneurship ventures. At Spectrum Solutions our interventions are very unique because we offer services that most consultants neglect. Our work focuses on financial sustainability looking at areas such as; Financial Modelling, Business Modelling, Branding and Positioning, and Result Based Management. 

No business is without setbacks, can you tell us about a time when you faced a significant setback and how you recovered from it?

TEDT is a highly demanding field with high target sets that require high performance and dedication. Self motivation and teamwork. Its present infrastructure and tools also create a high demand for integrity. Being the founder and CEO of Spectrum Solution creates a challenge with regards to creating a balance between the two business and so I have learnt to balance the two. I schedule all my private work at Spectrum Solution for weekends when I am not at TEDT.

How do you define success and to what do you attribute your success?

To me success isn’t about material or finance gains but is about legacy. The legacy I leave behind is what motivates my work and that is why I am dedicated to serving others through my work.

What's next for your business, what will it look like in 5 years?

My hope is that TEDT grows to be the home of higher learning in Tanzania while Spectrum Solution becomes the future of brand development for non-profits and youth in Tanzania.

What do you think the future holds for Africa-focused entrepreneurs and advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

The way we look at entrepreneurship as a continent compared to Europe and America is that of survival. We only think of entrepreneurship when we have failed to secure jobs and because of that our continent will be forever left behind. We need to change our perspective and view entrepreneurship through the lens of development and not merely survival.

Owning a business while balancing a personal life can be challenging; how do you take care of yourself?

I follow a strict schedule which is divided into monthly, weekly and daily activities. These collectively contribute to my annual plans and strategic achievements.

What is your favorite quote or mantra?  What keeps you going?

My mantra is “choose the battlefield of your advantage and have a fun fight”. This means our lives are a battlefield and that is why we always have setbacks, to win this war we need to be in the battle where we have the most advantage. We must do things that we are capable of and not follow others with no clue. 

What is your favorite app or a business tool that you can't live without

My favorite business tool is the Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder