CBZ puts more resources into youth programme

CBZ Holdings will invest “substantial resources” into this year’s edition of the Youth Entrepreneurs Programme (YEP), as it hunts for a new generation of growth-oriented entrepreneurs.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

This comes as the financial institution launched the inaugural edition of YEP last year in October in a series of workshops across the country’s 10 provinces.

In a statement recently, CBZ Holdings said it would invest more resources this year to ensure a critical mass of growth-oriented young entrepreneurs.

“To ensure that a critical mass of growth-oriented young entrepreneurs is produced, CBZ will invest substantial resources into the programme and is already planning to run the programme again during the second half of 2017 with a completely new crop of young entrepreneurs,” the bank said.

“It is the vision of the partnering organisations to see a significant number of participants’ businesses maturing into strong, sustainable, profitable businesses generating substantial revenues, employing considerable numbers of employees and impacting the economy positively.”

CBZ Holdings said to address historical imbalances the programme was structured so that female participants would make up at least 51% of all participants at every stage.

With employment prospects for 2017 at the low end, entrepreneurship will be key alternatives.

The 2016 YEP edition was in three phases. The first phase involved facilitation of initial workshops for up to 150 participants per province leading to selection of the top 10 participants from each province.

During the second phase, the selected 100 participants (10 per province) completed a number of individual and group assignments while also attending regional workshops, culminating in their assessment as well as selection of the top 20 participants countrywide. The second phase of the programme is currently underway.

The third phase focuses on providing seed capital to the 20 remaining participants, out of which 10 will be selected as winners. The winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $600 to $3 000 per person for their businesses at an awards ceremony scheduled for March 2017. A total of $12 000 will directly go to the participants to benefit their businesses.

CBZ Holdings is working in partnership with Empowered Life Trust, a non-profit making organisation. The financial institution spent $40 000 countrywide on the 2016 YEP edition, with those funds expected to be higher in this year’s edition.

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