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Women challenged to be innovative

By Allan Mbotshwa

WOMEN in the Small and Medium Entreprise (SMEs) sector seeking to export products and commodities are set to benefit from the ‘She Exporters’ initiative set to commence on the 13th April 2022, the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises, Hon Sithembiso Nyoni has said.

Women in the business sector have been facing challenges in accessing global markets previously; hence, efforts by the Government and various local and international stakeholders to assist by linking them to viable markets.

Addressing delegates who attended the inaugural Women in Business Conference that was being hosted by the SMEs International Expo, at the Jameson Hotel, in Harare, Minister Nyoni expressed optimism for the immediate future for women who are into export trading.

“On the 13th April, we are going to run what we call She Exporters with the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the ZimTrade and ourselves; and there is an organisation based in Geneva that is running this initiative.

“Please if you are in production, excel, and we are going to take 10 women from in the Provinces; train you, with your products and leave you hooked to an international market,” Hon Nyoni.

Furthermore, she went on to say her ministry is eager to see women entering into the mainstream economy because as it stands about 15% of the existing corporates are owned by women which really is a major cause for concern, through various programmes she wishes to see that percentage rise showing the resilience of women in the country.

Speaking at the same occasion, SMEs International Expo director, Delight Makotose applauded the government for enlisting the empowerment of women as one of its key objectives through the various interventions made since the Second Republic took office.

“His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since his inauguration championed the empowerment of women through the formulation of the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1. The economic blueprint (NDS1) is expected to facilitate increased empowerment of women and enhance gender equality in the country,” said Makotose.

The SMEs International Expo honoured exceptional women in business with certificates, as a way of appreciating their unwavering determination to contend with their male business counterparts. On the day, 11 women were honoured including Hon Sithembiso Nyoni and Telone chief executive officer Chipo Mutasa.

The conference was organised and hosted by the SMEs International Expo in partnership with NetOne, TelOne, Doves, Cassava Smarttech, Old Mutual and the People’s Own Savings bank (POSB), respectively, in a bid to recognise the exceptional works being done by women across the country.

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