Participants at YEP workshop held in Masvingo
MASVINGO – The Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) will this year be taking the Youth Entrepreneurs Programme (YEP) to rural communities, a move meant to support young commercial famers in rural Zimbabwe.
Speaking to TellZim News at a YEP workshop held at the Civic Centre on Monday, CBZ brand analyst Venanzio Chivange said the bank saw it important to extend the opportunities to those in rural communities.
"The programme started last year and it has been decided that it should not be limited to urban areas. There are young entrepreneurs in rural Zimbabwe who need business advice and a chance to showcase their unique ideas. That is the reason why CBZ is taking YEP to these communities.
"Simple projects like gardening need that kind of knowledge so that they can benefit larger populations. The businesses need to be formalised. We will be going to Gutu and Umzingwane first and with the expected response, we will continue engaging more rural communities," Chivange said.
YEP is a practical and result-based initiative to produce growth-oriented profitable businesses that are run professionally by the youth from all 10 provinces in Zimbabwe.
YEP is in line with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s 2016 - 2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategy as part of efforts to foster economic and social development by increasing fiscal space for previously marginalised key players such as smallholder farmers, women, youth, micro-small to medium scale enterprises in the formal banking system.
This year, the programme has US$110 000 funding as compared to last year's US$48 000.
The 2016 edition saw over 1 000 young people receiving extensive training, with 20 of them receiving seed money to inject into their businesses.
Ten provincial winners were rewarded with Pinky Sipho Mudzingwa from Midlands walking away with the top prize of US$3 000. Kuda Chinya (Harare) and Alson Jari (Bulawayo) walked away with US$2 000 and US$1 500 respectively.business