Female informal traders and owners of small businesses have been capacitated with skills to leverage on the ICTs in order to keep their enterprises afloat. This was done through a training organized Women’s Institute for Leadership Development following a realization that during COVID-19 induced lockdown, women were unable to reach out to potential customers.
The training was attended by women drawn from various industries which include cross border trade, hairdressing, dressmaking and cattle retail who are part of WILD’s Ward Women Economic Champions.
Speaking during the training, Tariro Tshuma, an ICT specialist said the COVID-19 lockdown came with a lot of restrictions which exposed the central role of social media in the marketing of products for informal traders and small business owners.
”The recent lockdowns showed us that it is important to use social media to market your products as it is one of the most stress-free and profitable digital marketing platforms that can be used to increase your business visibility and for building networks. ICT also helps your business to grow, gain access to new markets, grow networks and develop,” she said.
Tshuma further highlighted the different habits of informal traders that repel potential customers.
“Some business women have a habit of not declaring all the necessary information when marketing their products online. It is important to put your contact details and prices of your products instead of asking people to ‘inbox for details’.”
This opened a Pandora box as participants justified that action saying the prices of goods are determined by different variables which cannot be immediately explained to a customer.
Preety Mpofu, a cross-border trader said, “as an informal trader, I usually ask my clients to inbox me for prices running way from a lot of questions to do with why my prices went up or down and to also avoid loss as l constantly communicate with my suppliers on whether or not the goods would have gone up or down so as to also adjust my price.”
Ward Women Economic Champions appreciated the training saying “it was very enlightening” and that they will use the skills obtained to improve their businesses.
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