CBZ trains 1 500 young entrepreneurs

HARARE – At least 1 500 young business people from around the country have received training in the 2017 edition of Youth Entrepreneurs Programme (Yep) which is now in its second phase with 20 participants set to receive seed funding.

The programme which is sponsored by CBZ Holdings and managed by Youth Empowered Life Trust (ELT), a nonprofit organisation that works with young people to “enhance” their entrepreneurial skills, is described by the organisers as a “practical and results-based initiative to produce growth-oriented profitable businesses that are run professionally by youth from all 10 provinces in Zimbabwe”.

The programme is in its second year running and has been revamped this year to cater for more participants. In 2016 the programme targeted 100 participants per province from all of the countries’ 10 provinces, this year the programme initially shortlisted at least 150 participants per province.

The programme is currently in its second phase in which the top 10 from each province go through workshops and assignments. The top two from each province will go through to the third phase where they will each get $250 in seed funding.  

CBZ put in $48 000 for the programme in 2016, this year it has increased its financial commitment to $110 000. The funds are channelled towards the facilitation of programme activities as well as to provide seed funding for some of the participants and for the prizes given to the top performers.

ELT co-founder Jonah Mungoshi, said prizes given to the top performers have been raised from last year’s edition of the programme.       

“This year we are doing the same programme with a few changes, we have enhanced it, there is more money that has been put in, CBZ put in $110 000 this year. The highest price last year was $3 500 this year its $10 000,” said Mungoshi.

The top ten best performing participants will receive cash prizes. The best performer will walk away with $10 000, the first runner-up will get $7 500, the second runner-up is set to receive $5 000 and seven participants completing the top ten will get $1 000 each.

CBZ holdings senior manager group marketing Joel Gombera said the programme is mainly focussed on developing the young entrepreneurs intellectually adding that the prizes were just an added bonus. 

“At the end of the day it’s not about the competition, it’s about impacting the young people with the success nuggets they need to be able to accomplish their objectives and to be able to grow profitable businesses that will also employ other people,” said Gombera.

Mungoshi, who is also a success coach, said the programme is structured in a way that offers the young business people practical skills that will make them better entrepreneurs.