WOMEN in business should seek improved competitiveness and produce for export to boost liquidity in the economy and create jobs, the Women’s Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (Wabaz) has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Wabaz vice-chairperson, Judith Mizha told NewsDay on the sidelines of ZimTrade’s export awareness seminar for women in business held in Bulawayo on Tuesday that supplying the domestic market without vibrant exports would not improve the economy.
“We are trying to get our women to also look outside their borders, to be able to export. Right now, the country is in need of foreign currency and the only way we can get forex is if women’s businesses are actually partaking in this export processing system and they are also bringing in money into the country, so that the country can also operate,” she said.
“It will expand their businesses. As long as we are doing exports, the government will also recognise our efforts that we are doing and the value that we are bringing to the country.”
In the first seven months of the year, imports to Zimbabwe amounted to $3,1 billion while exports trailed at $1,9 billion.
By embarking on exports, Mizha said financing, capacity building and technical expertise that women need, will come in as long as the government could see that they are bringing in something to the country.
She said exporting does not start with being a big organisation it starts where you are and building it up to what you see out there,” Mizha said.
“If you start at this stage, that is the best. Before you even implement your systems, you now start implementing your systems according to export requirements. Before you start putting your quality processes in place, you are already known that your objective is far beyond just producing that item of yours, but you are now looking at export market.”
She said women were complaining about lack of access to finance because they do not have enough information or their businesses were not set up in a proper manner.
Formed in 2011, Wabaz is a coalition of women’s business organisations that engages in advocacy on issues affecting female entrepreneurs.
It represents more than 15 000 informal and formal sector women entrepreneurs throughout the country.
The seminar was aimed at developing and enhancing the export skills of women in business through nurturing them into export ready entities.