Boost for women’s projects 

Source: Boost for women’s projects | The Herald July 20, 2019

Boost for women’s projects
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa

Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
Government has launched two separate special funding facilities to provide women entrepreneurs with capital to start small businesses.

The two facilities, both targeting women entrepreneurs in rural and urban centres, will be managed by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development and Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube revealed the facilities on Tuesday on the sidelines of fiscal and monetary authorities and women church leaders’ meeting with First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa.

The meeting, convened by Amai Mnangagwa, was meant to discuss recently introduced Statutory Instrument 142, with a view to finding ways on how stakeholders can explain the instrument in a manner that benefits the public.

Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 effectively ended the multi-currency system and determined the Zimbabwe dollar as the sole legal trading currency in the country.

“Last week we launched a special two million fund for women’s empowerment projects around bread making, candle making, shoe polish, production of soya milk from soya beans and also petroleum jelly, all these products use similar ingredients in terms of inputs,” said Prof Ncube. “These are community projects targeting mainly rural areas, but it’s not confined to rural areas, anyone can learn the skills.

“The idea is to train the women on how to be productive in this area and help themselves. They will sell the products and earn money for their families. Therefore, we set aside two million for that.”

Prof Ncube said Government did not avail the money to be distributed across the country’s provinces through the women’s bank because the institution had its own constraints.

“This one is a special fund which will be administered and accessed through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, that is how the fund has been set up,” he said.

The women’s bank, which was launched recently, has been facing capitalisation changes.

“We are also recapitalising women’s bank as well to the tune of $6 million, so those of you who are able to access the bank, do so,” said Prof Ncube. “The Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank target female entrepreneurs, hence we need to make sure this money is more accessible to women entrepreneurs. This is an addition to the two million dollars which is targeted at community projects.

“The $6 million is a way of recapitalising the women’s bank.

“These are more resources for borrowers.”

Amai Mnangagwa is on record urging women to start income-generating projects that help improve the lives of families and contribute to the country’s macro-economic development.

She said it was her wish to see the success of women’s projects, hence she will continue working with them for the fulfilment of her vision.