BULAWAYO Female Entrepreneurs have been urged to be deliberate and strategic in their business ventures as this will help them to focus on the necessary steps for them to make business ideas succeed as well as achieve short-term and long-term objectives for their businesses.
Speaking during a Business proposal and financial literacy workshop for Bulawayo female entrepreneurs organised by Women’s Institute for Leadership Development, Business Management Lecturer at Lupane State University, Victor Shumba emphasised the need for a coherent business plan.
“A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business – usually a startup – defines its objectives and how it will go about achieving its goals.
“It is very important for any serious entrepreneur to have a solid business plan as this helps establish business milestones, better understand your competition and customers as well as enunciating previously unstated assumptions,” Shumba said.
Shumba also said a solid business plan is a roadmap that helps entrepreneurs to focus on the necessary steps to take if their businesses are to succeed.
“Not only does having a business plan show that you are serious about your business but it also helps to assess the feasibility of a business venture, determine financial needs and how to attract investors or partners.
“This is very important as it reduces the risk of pursuing the wrong opportunities but achieves short-term and long-term objectives,” Shumba said.
Echoing the same sentiments was WILD Programs Manager Permanent Ngoma who said: “A business plan is like a roadmap if you don’t plan for your business, you are likely to run a loss. A business plan helps an entrepreneur to have a vision, keep track of any developments and plan accordingly moving forward.” Ngoma said.
Shumba also urged entrepreneurs to have a solid marketing and financial plan in place.
“With the advent of social media, it is advisable to leverage social media to market your products. Always know the trends and which platforms to market your products as this can broaden your clientele.
“It is also advisable to have a financial plan in place as this helps to detail how you anticipate bringing in revenue and the funding you will need to get started. The financial plan should include financial statements, an analysis of these statements as well as a cash flow projection.” Shumba said.
A representative from the Women’s Bank, Thandolwenkosi Gumbo said the Bank is offering up to 2million RTGs in loans to entrepreneurs.
“The Women’s Bank is currently assisting entrepreneurs from diverse sectors with accessing loans and many other opportunities.
“All you need is your proof of residence and national ID. Once we assess your capabilities to pay back the loan based on your business plan we proceed to the next steps,” Gumbo said.
Gumbo also encouraged entrepreneurs to apply in groups.
“We also offer start-up loans to entrepreneurs applying in groups. These groups can consist of about 3 people going up. One important rule is to always work with people you trust for the avoidance of financial problems,” she said.
The workshop was attended by a total of 15 female entrepreneurs drawn from the formal and informal sector. As a follow up to the workshop, participants will go through a Business Proposal writing exercise and these proposals will be pitched before a panel of judges to select the winning business proposal.
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