‘Support SMEs to grow economy’

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BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

A ZANU PF official, Betty Nhambu-Kaseke has implored government, through the Women Affairs ministry, to capacitate financial institutions established to support female entrepreneurs as they played an important role in economic development.

The former Kuwadzana MP, who is now Kuwadzana district secretary for women’s affairs made the call last Friday during the Women and Girls Sport Festival in Dzivarasekwa, Harare.

The event was jointly sponsored by her foundation, Betty Kaseke Foundation and the Sports ministry to commemorate International Women’s Day.

“If you empower a woman, you have empowered a nation. Gone are the days we used to be called PHDs (permanent home defenders); no let’s stand up women and use our hands, help our husbands and look after our children,” the former legislator said.

“Women of today are doing wonders and we have more than 30 groups of young entrepreneurs and women in business exhibiting different products such as detergents and drinks, uniforms, body lotions and candles.”

She added: “We have women in agriculture who are growing mushrooms and cabbages, women in command bakeries as well as women in tourism. These small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) can help grow the economy of the country if given the necessary support.

“The women who have exhibited their products have indicated that they are facing serious challenges which I feel should be addressed by the Women’s Affairs ministry together with the Women’s Bank because most of them they are lacking financial support, capacity-building training, market and business skills.”

Nhambu-Kaseke promised to take women’s concerns to relevant stakeholders for assistance.

She also pledged to roll out business training courses that will encompass entrepreneurship, record keeping, trade and taxation, internal savings and lending, marketing and market research.

Through her foundation, Nhambu-Kaseke donated medals and trophies to Real Stars, a netball team from Hopley who edged Kuwadzana Queens in the finals.