The CBZ Bank in partnership with Empowered Life Trust will be launching a Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) from the 1st of November 2016. We first noticed the program through a flyer posted on its facebook page and were immediately interested to know more about it.
So we contacted CBZ and were able to get a bit more information on the program, its purpose and how you could get involved. Please read the Q & A below for the details:
TZ: What is the YEP program?
CBZ: The Youth Entrepreneurs program (YEP), is a practical and results-based initiative to produce growth-oriented (not survivalist) profitable businesses that are run professionally by youth (18-30 years of age) from all 10 Provinces in Zimbabwe. This a follow-up to our radio program that is currently running every Wednesday on StarFM from 0930hrs to 1000hrs.
TZ: Who are you targeting and expecting to participate?
The Program is targeted at all the Youths (18-30 years of age) in Zimbabwe.
TZ: How do participants register?
CBZ: They can visit any CBZ Bank Branch across the country to get application forms which after they complete can return to the same branch. Alternatively, they can apply online or call the CBZ Contact Centre on Toll-Free 460 (Econet) for more information
TZ: When will the program start?
CBZ: The first workshop will take place on Tuesday then 1st of November 2016 in Chinhoyi. Prior to the workshop, that is the day before the workshop, we will have a Motivational Speaking 2 hour session by Jonah Mungoshi, which is open to every person and it’s for free as well, no need to apply. This will also happen in all the 10 Provinces. Dates for the other Provincial workshops will be shared in due course but all initial visits to the 10 Provinces will be done in November.
TZ: How will the program be coordinated?
CBZ: The Program is being coordinated by Empowered Life Trust team who are working together with Mr. Joel Gombera who is the CBZ Holdings Senior Manager Group Marketing.
TZ: What are the minimum requirements for a participant to take part?
CBZ: One has to be within the age limit, submit a fully and correctly completed application form, once the form is assessed will be individually contacted with further details of the date, venue and time for the workshops.
TZ: How much has been put into this program?
CBZ: Over US$35,000.00 has been directly set aside for the YEP program.
TZ: What do participants stand a chance of winning
CBZ: Apart from the seed capital for the 20 who will be shortlisted after the second round of the program, finalists will get prizes ranging between $300 and $1000 which will be channeled strictly for business use only. Every individual going through the program will gain great knowledge and practical skills on how to successfully run a profitable business.
There will also be Coaching and Mentoring for the participants at different stages of the program. CBZ Business Banking Division whose mandate it is to nurture and grow small businesses will be responsible for assessing how bankable the shortlisted projects are. The Division will also link the participants to relevant products within its portfolio.
TZ: What does CBZ aim to achieve by providing such a program
CBZ: YEP is in-line with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategy as part of efforts to foster economic and social development by increasing fiscal space for key players such as smallholder farmers, women, youth, micro-small to medium enterprises in the formal banking system.
The CBZ program looks like a more realistic approach to funding youth startups/business in Zimbabwe. It’s not just about being given seed money to start your business, you also need access to information on how to run the business and develop business skills and insights to navigate the Zimbabwean business environment.
Although the amount seems low especially to the whopping $25 million being offered by the Innovation Fund sometimes less is more as CBZ promises to provide the amount of money is reflective of the pressing needs of Zimbabwean youth businesses especially in their firsts steps of formalizing their concepts. It is seed money and not funding so it just the initial support being offered.
So if you are interested in being a part of this initiative apply online or call the CBZ Contact Centre on Toll-Free 460 (Econet) for more information as soon as possible. Also, check out their Facebook page where they are answering all YEP related questions.