Kudakwashe Mhundwa Business Reporter
Women in business should engage the country’s trade promotion body, ZimTrade to come up with solutions which will enable them to participate in international markets, the new Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu has said.
Speaking at a women in enterprise conference last week Minister Ndlovu highlighted the need for local women in business to tap into the export markets.
“There is need to increase exports of our goods, I call upon women entrepreneurs to also work with ZimTrade in searching for the export markets.
“With the new mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business the sky is now the limit for our women entrepreneurs. Let us work together and change the face of our economy and rise above all to restore the country’s position by increasing domestic production and exports.
“There are vast opportunities that are coming our way as a country and I implore the business community take advantage of these opportunities. Let us take this opportunity to address challenges that bedevil our economy — issues to do with heavy reliance on imports which are eating into our scarce foreign reserves, lack of competitiveness which is resulting in our failure to compete at a global scale.
“Therefore we look forward to hearing from the women in business how we can navigate on issues to do with these challenges,” said Minister Ndlovu
Women’s Desk chairperson Divine Ndlokula, said her organisation is in the process of aligning women enterprises to established corporates.
“Schweppes is a really good model of what we are doing. They have already come to the party. They have a matrix that we have agreed on. At the time we went into this agreement they were only sourcing 5 percent from women and they have since agreed to move from that 5 percent to 10 percent and perhaps to 20 in the next three years.
“So far they have contracted about eight of the female-run companies that are certified with us,” said Dr Ndlukula.