Asset Finance Program to benefit women

The Ministry of Women Affairs Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, in collaboration with Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank Limited (ZWMB), last Friday launched an Asset Finance Program that will capacitate female small business owners with machinery to help them grow their businesses.

The Provincial Development Officer in the Ministry, Dingane Ndlovu said the aim of the program is to incorporate more women in the business space through providing them with machinery to produce goods for resell.

“We have noticed that only a few women are actively involved in the economic activities that are fundamental for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our role is to encourage more women to participate in business activities. Some women are already in businesses but most of them are not, with this program we want to inspire them by giving them assets they can use to start their businesses,” he said.

Speaking during the launch, the Minister of Women Affairs Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Sthembiso Nyoni said the government led program is aimed at capacitating women with raw materials and resources to produce machinery in order to support the local value chain.

“We have deliberated that we will not be bringing any machinery from Harare anymore but we are going to empower women to produce machinery themselves. We are going to make available every machinery that is needed in the production of other machinery equipment,” she said.

Nyoni added: ” We also want to help other institutions such as civil servants to be self-sufficient. The value chain being promoted by the Ministry will promote value addition and realize less imports.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank Mandas Marikanda said the bank is open to work with any women who were willing to produce goods and services.

She said lack of collateral hindered women from participating in economic activities.

“As a bank we are willing to work with each and every woman to produce goods and services with the machinery that will be disbursed today. Any woman who wishes to be in business is welcome to come to our offices to apply for these loans.”

“Collateral has hindered many women from seeking loans to start their businesses. As a bank we are saying that we are going to partner women who need financial support to foster production,” said Marikanda.

The Bulawayo Provincial Minister of State and Devolution Judith Ncube urged women to participate in economic activities so as to increase the provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Women who spoke to Infocus News said they had challenges with acquiring raw materials to produce heavy duty machinery. They implored the government to provide them with more equipment to produce heavy machinery.

Mrs Ncube who manufactures peanut butter machinery said they lacked raw materials and machinery to produce bigger production machines.

“Peanut butter machines that we are manufacturing right now can produce small amounts of peanut butter at a time. We wish to manufacture bigger machinery but we do not have raw materials and even the machinery, as it is time consuming.”

“We are imploring the government to give us more funds so that we can improve our production scale,” she pleaded.

The government disbursed RTGS $500 million to cushion small enterprises during COVID-19.  The asset distribution program saw twenty-four women benefitting from the scheme. Women received sewing machinery, grinding mills, bakery machinery among other assets.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *