Mudzingwa scoops CBZ top prize

HARARE - Emerging entrepreneur Sipho Mudzingwa has scooped the CBZ Holdings (CBZ)’s Youth Entrepreneurs Programme (Yep) top prize.

At a glitzy function held at a five-star hotel in the capital, Mudzingwa — who runs a mobile kitchen business called Chigutiro: Food on Wheels — got $3 000 that was injected into her business.

The Gweru-based businesswoman, who beat out over 660 entrepreneurs, also received a hands-on business training scholarship from the local chapter of International Business Driver’s Licence (IBDL).

Harare-based businessman Kudakwashe Chinya, who has a satchel making business, was first runner-up and walked away with a prize money of $2 000, which will also be injected into his business and free training from IBDL.

Road signage maker Alson Jasi, from the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province was the third runner-up and received $1 500 in funding for his venture from CBZ.

The other finalists were Manicaland budding entrepreneur Laddie Mudzimu, Mashonaland Central’s Kudakwashe Badze, Farai Makuvaro from Matabeleland North, Sithembile Mpofu from Matabeleland South, Nyasha Marega from Manicaland, Masvingo’s Yvonne Mugadza and Linda Kombora from Mashonaland West.

They all received $500 from CBZ for their businesses, with a total of $12 000 directly going to the participants to benefit their businesses.

Through Yep, CBZ, in partnership with non-profit making organisation, Empowered Life Trust, embarked on a $40 000 countrywide youth entrepreneurship empowerment programme.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, CBZ chief executive Never Nyemudzo said his organisation had realised that while the country was rich in entrepreneurial talent, most lacked proper training and funding.

“We realised that the country’s youth could literally fly, if they were given a chance so that is how this programme was born,” said Nyemudzo.

Yep identified and nurtured a new generation of growth-oriented entrepreneurs, with the fund’s main purpose being to produce growth-oriented profitable businesses that are run professionally by youth from all provinces in the country.

“The programme brings together individuals who are visionaries and entrepreneurs whose calling is to promote entrepreneurship within Zimbabwe.

“This is not the end, we have created a portal for all participants to log in and get training even after this,” CBZ group marketing manager Joel Gombera said.

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

In the first phase of the programme — completed in the period October to December 2016 — initial workshops were held in Chinhoyi, Mutare, Marondera, Bindura, Gweru, Bulawayo, Hwange, Gwanda, Masvingo and Harare.

660 young entrepreneurs attended the workshops and from this initial group 100 (10 per province) were selected to proceed to the next phase.

Participants were then given a number of individual and group assignments to complete during the second phase, including formally registering their businesses.

The third and final phase saw 20 participants being selected from 100 and they received seed capital to invest in their businesses and provide the programme an opportunity to assess how effectively the participants used this money in their businesses.

It was based on this assessment that the final top 10 participants were selected as winners.

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