Chipinge youth are complaining about the lack of funding for their businesses start-ups, with many saying their ideas and efforts are not being complemented.
This came out at a Youth in Business consultative forum that was organised by The Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation in Chipinge last Thursday.
The meeting was facilitated by Cletus Potsekai and Atanas Matambandini, who are both from the host ministry’s district offices.
The youth from various wards of Chipinge bemoaned the lack of support in the form of non-collateral loans and grants for those who are not yet established in business.
They also said they would be in a better position to thrive if they are given special consideration in the allocation of residential and commercial stands.
They called for the establishment of youth centres and digital business platforms as well as training in financial management and greater access to vocational training centres for young people in all constituencies.
In response, Mike Mudodo of Chipinge Rural District Council (RDC) encouraged the youth to apply for land like every other citizen of Zimbabwe.
“Shun illegal settlements, participate in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes and you will see diseases like cholera disappearing from your communities,” said Mudodo.
Ministry of Industry and Commerce Chipinge district business development officer, Ivy Katawa challenged the youth to register their business before talking of funding.
“Financiers give preference to registered entities that have a clear vision and has the potential to grow. A business that has a clear cash flow forecast can easily attract financiers,” said Chitambo.
Isau Woyo from the Department of Agritex whose mandate is food and nutrition security urged the youth to get technical advice.
“Chipinge is doing well in maize and beef production but it requires youth in business to work with our department in order to maximise yield,” said Woyo.
Gabriel Jaji from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development warned youth to desist from the practice of failing to repay government loans.
“Youth must practice financial discipline and be ready to repay loans. We only approve funding for projects that are realistic and bankable. One should have a ready market before submitting a project proposal,” said Jaji.