Rural entrepreneurs remembered at ZAS

HAND in Hand Zimbabwe, a local non-profit organisation took advantage of the just ended Zimbabwe Agricultural Show (ZAS) platform to link emerging rural entrepreneurs with both local and external markets in a bid to build socio-economically resilient communities.

The organisation used the esteemed trading platform to showcase wares and products from different and diverse enterprises owned by the entrepreneurs in the seven districts it operates in (Bulilima, Chikomba, Chirumanzu, Gwanda, Lupane, Nkayi and Shurugwi).

The products and wares, which are exclusively made by entrepreneurs, include baskets, jams, dried vegetables, nutritional porridge and woven mats among others.

Various cooperates, business executives and retailers expressed interest in securing the wares and products much to the delight of the entrepreneurs.

In an interview, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer, Felix Tete said his organisation will continue to link rising entrepreneurs with established markets.

“Our aim is to build socio-economically resilient communities, with a special focus on women and youths through various empowerment projects. We’ll continue to use various marketing platforms such as ZAS to bring maximum exposure to our entrepreneurs,” he said.

Since 2015, the organisation has supported over 10 000 rural businesses, trained more than 17 000 entrepreneurs and has facilitated the creation of more than 11 000 jobs in rural Zimbabwe.

Gladys Nyoni 58, one of the entrepreneurs from ward 29, Gwai, Lupane whose wares were on exhibition at the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Stand told The Business Connect that she was happy to be honoured with such a huge platform to market and sell her wares.

“Things are now hard and people on this other side constantly have no money to buy our wares so I am very happy that we have managed to get customers from all walks of life including buyers from various countries in Southern Africa.

“I had been keeping these wares for three months with no linkages but I’m happy I have finally managed to sell them. I feel empowered,” she said.

Tichakunda Mlinga, an entrepreneur from Chirumanzu and his colleagues, were equally elated to market their three legged pots at ZAS

Hand in Hand Zimbabwe helps resource limited and marginalized people in rural communities, particularly women, to create better livelihoods for themselves and their families through its flagship project, the Jobs Creation Programme (JCP).

JCP encompasses a self-help approach that is premised on a four pillar model involving Social mobilization into self-help groups (SHGs), Training in entrepreneurship and economic development, Facilitating access to microfinance and Facilitating market linkages and value addition.

Apart from the Jobs Creation Programme, the organisation has over the past three years incepted the Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) Project, Community Upliftment Project (CUP), Green Enterprises Project (GEP) and Jobs for Zimbabwe Project (JFZ).

Hand in Hand Future Trust Zimbabwe is part of the Hand in Hand Network. The Network is a group of Hand in Hand organizations that have a global shared vision to build socio-economically resilient communities.

HIH Zimbabwe also commits itself to implementing sustainable interventions that contribute to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as No poverty, Zero Hunger, Good health and well-being, Gender Equity, Climate Action, Life on land and Partnerships for the goals.

This organisation targets to empower 80 percent of disadvantaged women and youth in seven national districts it is operating in through capacity development, entrepreneurship and partnerships for sustainable development.

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