CBZ Holdings (CBZ) says it has trained over 3 000 young entrepreneurs in the last three years, as the financial institution moves towards promoting financial inclusion and new startups.
Blessing Mudavanhu, the group’s chief executive, on Friday said the country’s largest financial institution was providing a platform for previously unbanked young people to participate in the banking system.
“The platform being created will allow youngsters to create jobs for themselves and others,” he said, adding that CBZ — through the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (Yep) — was bringing disruptive innovation into the economy.
“It’s all about the future. If we invest in the youths then we are investing for the future,” Mudavanhu added.
Yep is a practical and results-based initiative involving youths from all the 10 provinces, which is nurturing a new generation of growth-oriented business persons.
The programme seeks to improve Zimbabwe youths including those who are in the rural areas through offering business opportunities which will in turn create employment opportunities.
This is in line with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which seeks 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.
To date 2 900 entrepreneurs have gone through the programme, with 52 percent of them being women. More than 400 businesses have been registered and are functioning as a result of the programme according to CBZ.
As part of the programme, the selected businesses compete with each other over the set period until winners are crowned at the end of the programme. The winners are given seed money to invest into their businesses.