CBZ sets aside $35k for youth en­trepreneurs

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

CBZ Hold­ings yes­ter­day con­ducted a busi­ness coach­ing work­shop for youth en­trepreneurs in Bu­l­awayo where it pledged to bankroll vi­able busi­ness projects.

The bank has set aside $35 000 for the de­vel­op­ment of young en­trepreneurs na­tion­wide.

The meet­ing was con­ducted un­der the CBZ Hold­ings and Youth Em­pow­er­ment Pro­gramme (YEP) ini­tia­tive, which at­tracted about 150 en­trepreneurs.

CBZ se­nior group mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Mr Joel Gombera said the pro­gramme be­gan in Oc­to­ber and would stretch to March 2017.

“Over $35 000 has been di­rectly set aside for the YEP pro­gramme, in­clud­ing the prize money that will be awarded to the fi­nal­ists. These fi­nal­ists will each re­ceive seed cap­i­tal to use in their small busi­nesses based on how they per­form. The top 10 will be awarded prize money,” he said.

“Terms and con­di­tions re­lat­ing to the prize money will re­strict the us­age of the money to busi­ness use, for ex­am­ple, ex­pan­sion of the win­ners’ busi­ness ven­tures.

“YEP is in-line with the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe’s 2016-2020 Na­tional Fi­nan­cial In­clu­sion Strat­egy as part of ef­forts to foster eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment by in­creas­ing fis­cal space for key play­ers such as small­holder farm­ers, women, youth, mi­cro-small to medium en­ter­prises in the for­mal bank­ing sys­tem.”

YEP is a prac­ti­cal and re­sults-based ini­tia­tive to pro­duce growth-ori­ented prof­itable busi­nesses that are run pro­fes­sion­ally by youth (18-30 years of age) from all prov­inces in Zim­babwe.

Mr Gombera said YEP grad­u­ates would be re­quired to start busi­nesses that make profit and are run pro­fes­sion­ally within a pe­riod of 90 days.

The first phase of the pro­gramme in­volves vis­its to all 10 prov­inces to de­liver pub­lic “In­tro­duc­tion to En­trepreneur­ship” work­shops for the youth.

At least 100 par­tic­i­pants per prov­ince will be picked to at­tend the first work­shop. From these, 10 par­tic­i­pants from each of the 10 prov­inces will be se­lected to go to the next round.

“Se­lec­tion will be based on per­for­mance and re­spon­sive­ness to the given as­sign­ments. Af­ter fur­ther train­ing and as­sess­ment, two par­tic­i­pants per prov­ince will be se­lected to pro­ceed to the fi­nal level (third phase) of the pro­gramme. The 10 win­ners will each re­ceive fur­ther sup­port in the form of one on one coach­ing from Em­pow­ered Life Trust,” Mr Gombera added.

Life coach Mr Jonah Mun­goshi, who is a mem­ber of Em­pow­ered Life Trust, said the pro­gramme came fol­low­ing a re­al­i­sa­tion that uni­ver­si­ties were churn­ing out grad­u­ates year af­ter year who have the po­ten­tial to start their own en­ter­prises.

The en­trepreneurs said this was a wel­come ini­tia­tive for them to put their ideas out there for the world to see and they were grate­ful to the or­gan­is­ers for the op­por­tu­nity.

“So many of us have great ideas but we have no one to bounce them off, or to pro­vide fund­ing. This, for us is a God-sent pro­gramme be­cause we can fi­nally show that we have some­thing to of­fer,” said Mr Shepherd Khu­malo.

To­mor­row the del­e­ga­tion will be in Hwange for a work­shop for Mata­bele­land North prov­ince. — @Bian­caMlilo

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