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NGOs hold youth business expo in Mwenezi

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NGOs hold youth business expo in Mwenezi



MASVINGO – A consortium of three Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) supporting Mwenezi youth through entrepreneurial projects held an expo to link beneficiaries with suppliers and clients last Friday at the Neshuro Better Schools Program building (BSPZ).
Junior Achievement Zimbabwe (JAZ), Silveira House and Plan International Zimbabwe are implementing a three year project titled Youth Community Empowerment and Social Coercion.
JAZ and Silveira House are the implementing partners while Plan International Zimbabwe funds the project through grants from Plan International that receives funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation for Development.
The expo ran under the theme: Propelling Value Chains for Economic Development.
Several organisations including leading distributor of farming and agricultural inputs, agrochemical supply and poultry products Eben Hardware, Zb Bank, micro finance institutions, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) exhibited their products and services to the youth.
Silveira House Projector Coordinator Duduzile Moyo told The Mirror that the expo was meant to give exposure to the youth while creating business linkages with possible suppliers and clients for their products.
“Project participants are aged between 15 and 30 and they have been equipped with vocational skills as cosmetology, baking, building, conflict management, and poultry. 60 % of participants are female while males constitute 40 %. We have conducted exchange programs with youth in Chiredzi and Mutare,” she said.
JAZ programs coordinator for Masvingo Province and the project coordinator, Aubrey Chimanga said that the project began in May 2021 and ends in May this year.
He said participants are less privileged youth from Wards 1, 2, 5, 6, 9 and 18. The youth would pitch their ideas at a boot camp before receiving US$1 000 worth of equipment as starter packs for their businesses.
“JAZ trains the youth in entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Over 800 youth have benefitted from the project since its onset. JAZ has taken some of the beneficiaries to platforms as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and Zimbabwe Agricultural Show (ZAS). We also tackle policy issues surrounding youth empowerment,” he said.
JAZ Project manager, John Kennedy said youth are also able to access a US$1 000 revolving loan to boost their businesses.
One of the project beneficiaries, Trish Cindy Sithole is supplying 600 baked buns to Neshuro and Mwenezi on a daily basis. She told The Mirror that she joined the project in 2022 and was taken through a baking course and given equipment worth US$1 000.
EBEN hardware director and WEDO Masvingo province ambassador Benonia Machavuda urged young women to focus and excel on their dreams. She offered professional guidance and handed out branded t-shirts, hats and calendars.

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