Over 200 women benefit from Next She Exporter Providence Moyo of Divine Pro

Sikhulekelani Moyo, [email protected]

ZIMTRADE has said at least 200 women entrepreneurs have benefited from the Next She Exporter, which has seen some of them exporting their products into the region.

The past few decades have seen a remarkable increase in the number of new businesses, with 51 percent being women owned.

ZimTrade has been deliberate in its efforts to ensure that these new female owned businesses are not only supported but have a significant contribution to exports.

In 2021, ZimTrade launched the revolutionary Next She Exporter programme, which sought to train women entrepreneurs for export readiness.

The Next She Exporter programme is a ZimTrade initiative designed to empower women-owned businesses in exports by providing them with comprehensive technical and financial capacity, from local and international experts.

In an update, ZimTrade Southern Region manager Mrs Jackie Nyathi said this unique programme leverages a variety of knowledge-sharing formats to equip participants with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the competitive regional and international export markets.

“To date, Next She Exporter initiative has empowered at least 200 women nationwide through export development training, mentorship by industry experts and an opportunity to network.

“The end of the second edition of the programme was held at a High Tea event held at Golden Conifer Strathaven in Harare on 27 March 2024,” said Mrs Nyathi.

“Aptly scheduled, during International Women’s month, the event celebrated the remarkable achievements of women-owned businesses and their journeys towards exports.

“Providence Moyo and Priscilla Mponda managed to receive awards for Best Value Addition and Most Innovative Business respectively.”

As ZimTrade reflects on the success of the just ended second season, they have already opened the call for applications for the third season and extend an invitation to all aspiring female entrepreneurs looking to enhance their business operations towards exports.

The call for applications closes on the 10th of May.

To participate in this transformative programme, ZimTrade said businesses must be wholly female-owned or have women holding at least 51 percent shares.

Selection criteria is based on enterprises demonstrating potential for export, environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and a unique comparative advantage in their business model.

Mrs Nyathi said those who joined the first cohort were already exporting their products after being capacitated.

One of the winners Ms Providence Moyo who won the best Value Addition award said through the NEXT She Exporter programmes, she has managed to get links and assistance to export her products.

“This one-year program was phenomenal, ZimTrade rendered me with expert training and capacity building initiatives in line with improving my products for Exports.

“Thank you ZimTrade for capacitating me to be ready and competitive for export market,” she said

“As I speak, I have opportunities in Botswana, South Africa and Russia, also they will take me to different African business affairs.”

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