HARARE – CBZ Holdings in partnership with Empowered Life Trust has stepped up efforts to bolster youth entrepreneurs’ contribution towards economic growth through Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP) to promote robust businesses.
YEP is a program that trains local youth and develops them to start growth oriented businesses to promote economic and social development by increasing fiscal space for marginalised micro-small to medium scale enterprises in the formal banking system.
The program has since attracted entrepreneurs from diverse industries that include agriculture, ICT, services and manufacturing. The program has particular focus on essentials of business development, self-reliance and sustainability.
Now in the third year running YEP has gone a step further urging participants to follow formal procedures and register companies regardless of size.
Young Entrepreneurs Program’s director Jonah Mungoshi highlighted that the program came into being after noticing high job demand in an environment where companies have no capacity to give jobs to them all. In the same vein this initiative intends to push for ventures with potential to have impact on Zimbabwean community.
“This program came after realization that the existent companies are no longer able to absorb school leavers, graduates from universities hence saw need for homegrown entrepreneurs, whom we will train to run growth oriented companies.
“These are businesses that are geared to grow and make a significant impact the nation,” said Mr Mungoshi.
Young entrepreneurs continue to encounter capital challenges in their endeavor to establish sustainable companies and participants see the YEP platform as a window to accessing funds.
Kuziva Chatukuta who is in the business of drying vegetable, meat and fruit said the program gives youths a platform to network , share and learn on good business practices .His venture managed to be selected by Japanese embassy to exhibit at a fair called FoodExpo in Japan through Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
“As young entrepreneurs we don’t usually have enough capital to run business but this YEP program gives us an opportunity to be fit to acquire funds from lending institutions.
“This platform has created a good relationship between us and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce which is now prepared to certify young and upcoming businesses,” said Kuziva.
One Geraldine Zikwature who manufactures cancer free industrial chemicals and household detergents said “YEP helped me in improving my marketing, business skills, knowing what to do in terms of compliance ZIMRA, NSSA and Standards Association of Zimbabwe.
Last year’s winner Ropafadzo Zimunya is now the CEO his own Greenit Diversified Group that makes baking flour out of bananas.-=-ebusinessweekl.ci.zw