Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, through its Edutech units Akello Books and Akello Courses, is promoting financial inclusion by offering financial literacy courses to entrepreneurs and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) owners.
The group says it is targeting boosting productivity and economy growth, using its core competencies in fintech as a catalyst for resilient and innovative SME growth.
“Inadequate financial literacy is one of the main barriers to the sustainable development of start-ups and SMEs,” said Cassava’s chief commercial officer Givemore Jojo.
“And so, in addressing that gap, we are using our expertise in collaboration with our international partners, to provide local SMEs with quality training and skills at affordable prices,” he added.
Jojo said the group, which was enhancing Zimbabwe’s chances of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, believes it is possible for anyone in Zimbabwe to be financially literate, despite their background.
“We are really creating the opportunity for anyone with the passion and drive to become financially literate in a manner that empowers them to make the right choices to grow their businesses,” he said.
Financial literacy training equips entrepreneurs and small business owners with the appropriate skills and capacity to grow their businesses, manage risks and become resilient in turbulent economic times.
Statistics from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) show that the SME sector is playing a critical role in economic development through job creation and poverty alleviation, contributing more than 60% to the country’s gross domestic product.
However, the majority of SMEs still face financial inclusion challenges, among them inadequate business and financial management skills, lack of acceptable collateral, poor access to markets, obsolete technology and poor corporate governance structures among other things.
“At Cassava, we are making our contribution by capacitating SMEs and entrepreneurs, seeing that they make an immense contribution to economic development through employment creation and reduction in poverty,” Jojo said.
“Having a strong SME sector is critical in driving broad-based economic growth, and to achieve this, we believe SMEs should have financial literacy. Furthermore, financial literacy ensures that they can cope with sudden economic shocks.”
In addition to providing critical digital books for academic and non-academic purposes, the Akello platform offers strategic courses that help users gain access to the latest educational materials and specialised content from across the globe.
Some of the courses available on Akello include graphic design, digital marketing, photography, sports and exercise, financial trading and investment, nutrition, Adobe Photoshop, social media marketing, cryptocurrency, leadership and management, mobile app development, Adobe Lightroom, fitness and weight loss, English for beginners, viral marketing, web development, web design, guitar and personal beauty, among others.
The platform’s highly sought-after digital skills training programme consists of specialised e-learning coding modules, Google certification, business and entrepreneurship skills training and a practical group project development