Over the years Women Empowerment has taken the market by storm as more and more Non-Governmental Organizations and other Human Rights organisations have advocated for women’s rights and Women Inclusion in policy formulation in the country. Against this back ground, business organisations also embarked on Women Empowerment programs encouraging women to start and own businesses and at the same time provide financial literacy to these women entrepreneurs to understand the financial aspects of business and management skills of how to run viable businesses.
All these developments have led to the apex national business organization; Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Women’s Desk’s introducing the Woman Owned Campaign in 2016
The campaign is an initiative to enable consumers to identify products and services supplied by Women Owned businesses during their shopping experience. Any product that bears the Women Owned logo is produced by a company that is owned and operated by a woman or women, as certified by the ZNCC Women’s Desk.
The idea is to bring consumer recognition to products and services made /owned by Women, and support in the sustainability of Women Owned Businesses in Zimbabwe
Spearheaded by Divine Ndhlukula the ZNCC President and WD Chairperson, the initiative that was mooted more than a year ago and launched at the 2016 WECA conference in September is already gaining traction with women owned business currently being registered in person and electronically in the eNetwork platform. Corporate partners are also coming on board as key partners to support in the scaling up of women owned businesses through market access.
The ZNCC Women’s desk is working hand in hand with WEConnect International an organization which helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises based inside and outside of the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with multinational corporate buyers. The ZNCC Women’s Desk has partnered with WEConnect as it already has the best practice in such a program. The partnership will see opportunities for women in Zimbabwe in global value chains.
Women-owned business verification/certification occurs in 18 countries worldwide, where its deployment has been driven by multinational corporations’ social responsibility initiatives to diversify their supply chain. In some countries, governments also confer advantages in the procurement process for goods and services supplied by verified women-owned companies. International standards have been developed that require the businesses to be well established and to have the capacity to supply their goods or services at scale.
Against this background the ZNCC Women’s Desk 2016 WECA theme was based on ‘WOMAN OWNED’ so as to encourage the market to identify itself with products produced by women owned companies and at the same time obtain services from women owned services firms.
The ‘WOMAN OWNED BRAND LABEL’ theme has become a campaign and the ZNCC Women’s desk will be conducting a workshop on the 3rd of August to orient business women on this new initiative.
On the same day the women’s desk will kick start its 4th Mentorship class for the ZNCC Mentorship in Practice program. Therefore women entrepreneurs interested in joining the mentorship program are being invited to email or call ZNCC WD on contacts below.