CBZ empowerment scheme reaches climax

HARARE - Zimbabwe's largest financial services group by asset base, CBZ Holdings (CBZ), said its ambitious $40 000 entrepreneurship empowerment programme has reached the climax with winners expected to be announced this week.

The project, which has resulted in over 660 youths being trained by CBZ in financial literacy since October last year, will see winners getting $3 000 to start businesses.

CBZ said winners will be selected based on their biggest successes since they started participating in the programme, how they managed to tackle challenges they faced in their business and on their effective use of capital money among other things.

CBZ marketing and corporate affairs executive, Laura Gwatiringa, recently said the group’s Youth Entrepreneurs Programme (Yep) identified and nurtured a new generation of growth-oriented business persons.

“Many young Zimbabweans graduating from universities, colleges and high schools have no option but to become entrepreneurs due to lack of employment.

“Most of the businesses started by these young people are essentially survivalist self-employment initiatives with limited, if any, growth prospects,” she said.

Gwatiringa noted that despite the need to make serious inroads into the corporate sector, such businesses do not create employment for others and have a low impact on the development of the country.

“Yep seeks to address this need by inculcating a growth mind-set and ensuring the development of practices that foster business growth in young entrepreneurs through educational workshops and follow-up reinforcement activities,” she added.

The first phase of the programme was completed in the period October to December last year with workshops being held in Chinhoyi, Mutare, Marondera, Bindura, Gweru, Bulawayo, Hwange, Gwanda, Masvingo and Harare.

The second phase of the programme concluded with the participants being given a number of individual and group assignments to complete.

In the third and final phase 20 participants were selected from the current 100 and will receive seed capital to invest in their businesses.

Gwatiringa said based on this assessment the final top 10 participants will be selected as winners.

The 10 winners will receive cash prizes of amounts ranging from $600 to $3 000 for investing in their businesses.

“To ensure that a critical mass of growth-oriented young entrepreneurs is produced, CBZ will invest substantial resources into the programme and is already planning to run the programme again during the second half of 2017 with a completely new crop of young entrepreneurs.

“It is the vision of the partnering organisations to see a significant number of participants’ businesses maturing into strong, sustainable, profitable businesses generating substantial revenues, employing considerable numbers of employees and impacting the economy positively,” she added.

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