Women SMEs make inroads at Mozambique fair

Source: Women SMEs make inroads at Mozambique fair | Herald (Business)

Founder of ZoroNeMugoti, Zororo Taruvinga, engages visitors to her stand at the Maputo International Trade Fair currently underway in Mozambique. Her business is one of the three women-led SMEs that are taking part in an international trade fair for the first time

Herald Correspondent

Three women-led businesses, which are among the 15 exhibitors taking part at the ongoing Maputo International Trade Fair, are receiving positive feedback on their products amid promising opportunities to yield business deals.

Through the facilitation of the national trade development and promotion organisation, ZimTrade and supported by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprise Development, the small businesses are participating in an international trade fair for the first time.

The facilitation is part of the Government’s drive, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and ZimTrade to integrate women-led small businesses into mainstream exports, which will improve their contribution to national export targets.

With increased participation at international trade fairs, women-led businesses are set to boost their exports into the region.

This will have positive spinoffs for developing livelihoods of women across the country, as most of the SMEs source from women living in rural communities. The SMEs were drawn from sectors such as processed foods, arts and crafts, and personal care and hygiene products.

Speaking after meeting potential buyers during the ongoing trade fair in Mozambique, the founder of ZoroNeMugoti, Zororo Taruvinga, said her products have been receiving good reviews from potential buyers and distributors.

“We have met buyers who are looking to establish business partnerships that will see us land our products with ease in Mozambique.

“The trade fair is opening us to huge opportunities to supply Mozambique and other countries that are also exhibiting, as we have also been engaging with them,” she said.

Miss Taruvinga also indicated that she was using the trade fair to benchmark her products with what competitors are supplying, as well as obtain customer feedback.

“Compared with products that are coming from other countries, we have better quality, and we will improve on the quality of packaging so that we match with what competitors are currently supplying,” she said.

Chipinge-based Jopa Investments, which is a women-led membership business, is also meeting distributors who will help take their personal care and hygiene products across Mozambique.

Chairperson of Jopa Investments, Ms Violet Banda, said they had already started having supply discussions with established distributors in Maputo. If the discussions are successfully concluded, the Chipinge-based SME will etch a strong footprint in Maputo and will also act as a gateway for the company’s products into south-eastern provinces of South Africa.

“The prospects of supplying Mozambique are huge as we are discussing pricing and logistics with potential buyers” Ms Banda also revealed that buyers were looking to import large quantities and their company will need to increase production to satisfy the full requirements.

“The size of quantities required is good and big, and we will be growing our production so that we can sustain the requirements by the buyers”, she said.

Tshisam Pvt Ltd, which is a women-led SME based in Chipinge, producing diversified agricultural and handcrafted products, is also convinced they will record their first-time exports through participation at the Maputo fair.

Chairperson of Tshisam Pvt Ltd, Mrs Tshiyiwe Sibhula said their value-added products such as dried fruits and vegetables, and soft drinks have excited visitors to their stand.

The business is also exhibiting handmade bags, which have received inquiries from buyers from the United Kingdom.

“We have found it possible to establish links beyond Mozambique at this trade fair, as buyers from Europe are frequenting our exhibition stand.

“On the dried vegetables, we have learnt of best practices on packaging through engagements with other exhibitors, and this will improve the quality of our products,” she said.

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