ZimTrade launches ‘Next She Exporter’ programme

Source: ZimTrade launches ‘Next She Exporter’ programme | Sunday News (Business)

Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
ZIMTRADE has capacitated female exporters after it launched the Next She Exporter programme which will see women develop market awareness skills, increase market linkages export capacity and stimulate community based growth through entrepreneurship across all provinces in Zimbabwe.

Over the years, exports have continued to sustain the economy contributing more than 60 percent of the country’s foreign currency earnings with the trade promotional body increasing the involvement of women in trade.

The latest development will help boost the emerging and informal economy as a significant number of players in the sector are females.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Deputy Minister David Musabayana, while addressing delegates who attended launch in Harare last week, said the move will go a long way in alleviating poverty in the country.

“There is a global consensus that empowering women economically is without doubt one of the promising opportunities to lift millions out of poverty and foster economic growth and structural change especially in low- and middle-income countries,” he said.

The country seeks to the achieve export earnings targets of US$7billion by 2023 and US$14billion by 2030. The country is taking positive strives towards attaining the export target as it has managed to attain a growth of 33.7 percent to US$6.03billion in 2021 from US$4.39billion in 2020.

He encouraged women to expand and reorient their enterprises to be more outward looking and make significant contributions towards the expansion of Zimbabwe’s export base through programmes like the next she exporter programme.

He said the Government was aware of the difficulties faced by women in the business environment so there are certain steps taken by his ministry to correct the wrongs.

“We have noted that women face difficulties in identifying opportunities to expand and internationalise in part due to lack of relevant skills and networking opportunities, unfavourable institutional and regulatory framework prohibiting female Small to Medium Enterprises owners to effectively collateralise their assets.

This will help females to deal with regulations and procedures, unequal access to financial resources among others.

As such my ministry is encouraged by steps taken by the government to ensure access to finance by women through establishment of a women’s bank the Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank,” he said.

The next programme is going to recognise 20 women from each province and pair them with mentors. The programme will run from May 2022 to March 2023.

It will empower women in various sectors with technical abilities that include marketing, branding, financial management operations and digital marketing. There will also be emphasis on social media.

ZimTrade will be working with Germany and Netherlands who will equip women in their businesses to get them to full exporter status.

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