Local financial services provider, ZB Bank is providing funding for an emerging businesses initiative dubbed- Zimbabwe National Gazelles Program that is aimed at mentoring and giving financial support in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, 263Chat Business has learnt.
The program will run for a period of 3 years and every year, with the top 60 companies selected to benefit from a range of support activities and interventions to ensure that they develop to become medium sized companies.
“The program is being managed by Kukura Business Accelerator Pvt Ltd (KBA), in partnership with its South African Partner, Mtiya Dynamics (Pty) Ltd, initiator of the National Gazelles Program of South Africa. The ZIMBABWE NATIONAL GAZELLES, is an adaptation of the tried and tested South African programme. The government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development supports the program as it is in line with Government’s 2030 vision for Zimbabwe to become a middle income country by then,” Judith Kuster, program spokesperson said.
The initiative is open to SMEs from all of the county’s provinces who can instantly apply and will embrace all sectors of the economy.
Companies will have to be 100 percent Zimbabwean-owned, have been in existence for a minimum period of 2 years and should have annual turnover of atleast ZWL 1.5 million.
The development comes at a time when most emerging businesses are struggling to stay afloat amid a plethora of challenges including a harsh economic environment, lack of prudent leadership and capital constraints among others.
Successful applicants will benefit from intensive business workshops, coaching and mentoring and access to funding and markets.
“As ZB Bank, we strive to ensure growth of the SMEs to become Medium to Large corporates. ZB Bank offers personalized products to SMEs to suit the various industries in which they operate. ZB also offers sound financial advice through dedicated business bankers who are available in all our branches to ensure that our SMEs Go Big and achieve their financial endeavors,” ZB Bank said in a statement.
The program has other corporate partners including Internet service providers, Financial Service providers, Manufacturers, Retail businesses among others.
The program application window opened on 27 April 2020 and will close on 19 May 2020. The selected SMEs will be announced in early June 2020 and these SMEs become the inaugural Zimbabwe National Gazelles that will undergo the program.