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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Women business participation enhanced

Story by Fungai Jachi

THE Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (SMEDCO) has launched two new products set to enhance women’s participation in small businesses as the government moves to implement programmes that respond to the needs of women in the SMEs sector.

This Wednesday saw SMEDCO launching two customised products for women in small businesses as part of efforts to promote increased participation of women in the business sector.

The products, dubbed Chiedza Khanya Mama and the USD product are set to augment strides towards financing SMEs.

SMEDCO CEO Mr Obert Ngwenya said, ‘‘Women empowerment is key in the nation’s development hence the launch of the two products at this time. It is part of supporting government efforts to achieve vision 2030. These products were created with women in mind as we aim to see women-owned businesses prosper. We wanted a product that is accessible to women and through this product, women-owned businesses will prosper.’’

Women who have benefited from SMEDCOs financing models shared how they have managed to grow their businesses.

A beneficiary noted, ‘‘We are in the clothing sector and we started small but because we were able to access funds from SMEDCO now we have opened another branch and we wish to expand.’’

Another beneficiary said, ‘‘I am in the manufacturing industry and as we speak our business has grown we employ a lot of young people and our product is a favourite to many. The products offered by SMEDCO are favourable to start-ups and we are glad we are part of the bigger circle.’’

Another beneficiary noted, ‘‘I have four small businesses thanx to SMEDCO through the loaning facilities everything was made possible. I urge women to be brave enough to start their own ventures because the products offered by the institution are favourable to women.’’

Guest of honour at the event Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium EnterprisesDevelopment Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni encouraged women to utilise opportunities being availed by the government to empower them.

Dr Nyoni said, ‘‘SMDECOs USD facility has come at an opportune time as it is expected to augment MSMEs and women can now address the working capital and machinery challenges facing their businesses.’’

The government has taken a deliberate move to empower women through various initiatives, with women, including in rural communities, venturing into various businesses that are flourishing.

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