Lovemore Zigara, Business Correspondent
A LEADING financial services group, CBZ, has injected $110 000 into this year’s Youth Entrepreneurs Programme meant to assist youths with business capital.
The financial institution launched the programme last year and is meant to give young entrepreneurs a practical and results-based initiative to produce growth-oriented profitable businesses that are run professionally.
CBZ group senior marketing manager Mr Joel Gombera said the bank has expanded the age group that can qualify for business loans to between 18-35 years of age from the age cap of 30 years.
“We are launching the second edition of the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme in partnership with the Empowered Life Trust and therefore, we are coming to the Midlands where we are going to shortlist 150 young people who are going to go through a rigorous training programme,” he said.
“This will help them to become successful entrepreneurs and there is also a competition element in the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme where we are going to shortlist 10 young people per province who will go for further training and eventually we will have three that will be given seed capital towards their business ventures.”
The Youth Empowerment Programme graduates will be required to start businesses that make profits and are run professionally within a period of 90 days.
The first phase of the programme involves visits to all the 10 provinces to deliver public “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” workshops for the youth.
Participants from each of the 10 provinces will be selected to go to the next round where selection would be based on performance and responsiveness to the given assignments.
The programme seeks to improve Zimbabwe youths through offering business opportunities for employment creation.
Life coach, Mr Jonah Mungoshi, who is a member of Empowered Life Trust, said the programme came after realising that universities were churning out graduates year after year with a potential to start their own enterprises but were limited by working capital constraints.
Prospective entrepreneurs have welcomed the initiative as it accords them an opportunity to reflect their ideas for the world to see.