Women Em­pow­er­ment Fund tests cred­it­wor­thi­ness

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Bianca Mlilo Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Women Em­pow­er­ment Fund ( WEF) will soon con­duct a trial run to as­sess the cred­it­wor­thi­ness of its mem­bers be­fore dis­burs­ing money un­der the $500 000 loan fa­cil­ity it launched in April.

WEF, which has more than 300 mem­bers in Bu­l­awayo is a sub­sidiary of the Af­fir­ma­tive Ac­tion Group (AAG).

The em­pow­er­ment fund seeks to deepen the in­te­gra­tion of women in eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties through pro­vi­sion of loans to ini­ti­ate or im­prove their busi­nesses.

Fund co­or­di­na­tor Mrs Sally Njolo­mole, who is also the sec­re­tary for women’s port­fo­lio in the AAG told Busi­ness Chron­i­cle that the trial was ini­tially slated to be­gin on Au­gust 5.

It had, how­ever, been de­ferred due to some “few” tech­ni­cal­i­ties that needed to be ironed out be­fore the trial run is rolled out.

“The rea­son why there haven’t been any ben­e­fi­cia­ries to date is be­cause we still need to ad­dress se­cu­rity is­sues and I’m glad to say we’ve found part­ners in se­cu­rity,” she said.

“The trial pe­riod will give out loans of $100 to $200 at zero per­cent interest payable over a month. Be­sides the fund, we’ve had some in­vestors adopt­ing women to help them with their busi­nesses.”

She said one of the in­vestors was in­volved in min­ing and had adopted women in the smallscale min­ing sec­tor and em­pow­ered them through mech­a­ni­sa­tion.

Mrs Njolo­mole said they had also se­cured an in­vestor from Rwanda and would be trav­el­ling to that coun­try at the end of Septem­ber for meet­ings.

She said the in­vestor would pro­vide fund­ing aimed at sup­port­ing soya bean farm­ers, goat breed­ers and free range poul­try pro­duc­ers.

WEF is on record say­ing they were hop­ing to at­tract cor­po­rate and Gov­ern­ment sup­port to en­sure that women from all walks of life get the nec­es­sary sup­port for the bet­ter­ment of the com­mu­nity and na­tion at large.—@Bian­caMlilo

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