The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Women’s Desk (ZNCC-WD) was established in 2013, after realization that women were not taking part in mainstream business member organizations. The main objective of the Women’s Desk (WD) is to help women create or scale up their businesses and to assist women to grow in their chosen professions. The WD is focused, on adding value to the chamber’s mandate, by ensuring that the business potential of women entrepreneurs is unleashed through its various activities.
The ZNCC-WD focuses on women entrepreneurs' development and is dedicated to:
- Build a substantial pool of ‘a Female Business Brand’ for entrepreneurs, executives and investors from all sectors nationwide.
- Advancing economic progress through the creation of a competitive, sustainable and private sector led environment in which women owned business can prosper.
- Developing and enhancing women entrepreneurship.
- Identifying, promoting and servicing the interest and needs of women entrepreneurs who are chamber members.
- Representing authoritatively and independently the views of women in business to local and national authorities.
- Disseminating relevant information on issues of vital importance to women entrepreneurs.
- Facilitating contact and access for women to local and international markets.
- Collaborating with other national organizations with similar objectives, throughout the world.
Focus area – ZNCC Women’s Desk
The ZNCC Women’s Desk has a specific responsibility that focus on matters affecting women in business especially those who are members of the chamber. The Women’s Desk has mutated to being the voice of women in business.
Since its inception, the Women’s Desk has attracted women entrepreneurs urban and rural, professional women, and women farmers who have interest in sharing business knowledge and experiences. It has expertise to negotiate for access to funding for its members, and market linkages. The Women’s Desk has the capacity to advocate and lobby against legislation that creates obstacles for women in business. The Chamber also has the capacity to enhance not just business negotiating skills but the use of ICT to support marketing and distribution of women made products/services.
Women members of ZNCC have an interest in up scaling their businesses through; participate in business to business linkages, breakfast meetings, business forums and workshops where external experts are invited to make relevant presentations. It is from such events that the Women’s Desk has established a more than 600-member database.
Since Marah Hativagone broke the glass ceiling and became the first female president, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce attracted high profile female business leaders like the current President and the Women’s Desk Chairperson Dr. Divine Ndhlukula. She has used her experience to strengthen partnerships relevant stakeholders that also support women economic empowerment. The ZNCC Women’s Desk has garnered experience from running the Women in Enterprise Conference and Awards (WECA), Mentorship in Practice (MiP), Woman Owned Brand (WOB) and the Look, Learn and Share Business Visits (LLS) programs. Since 2013, more than 500 urban and rural women have benefited from this network, while banks, and agricultural finance institutions, including ICT companies have shared their expertise in conferences, breakfast meetings and workshops. Such experience has partially contributed to enhancing the women’s voices and giving them confidence to assume leadership positions in the community and business sector.