CBZ sets aside $35k for youth entrepreneurs
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