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Empowering Zimbabwe’s Entrepreneurs: ZB Financial Holdings Hosts SME Expo

In a move to support the growth and development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), ZB Financial Holdings Limited held its inaugural SME Expo over the past weekend in Bulawayo.

 

The event, which was attended by a wide array of SMEs, industry experts, and government representatives, underscored the bank’s commitment to empowering this crucial sector of the Zimbabwean economy.

“As we all know, SMEs are the backbone of our economy, driving innovation, job creation, and economic progress,” said Tenjiwe Sibanda, Non-Executive Director of ZB Financial Holdings Limited, in her welcome remarks.

“At ZB, we recognize the critical role you play and are dedicated to empowering you with the necessary tools and resources to succeed.”

The expo provided a platform for SMEs to showcase their products and services, network with like-minded entrepreneurs, and engage with industry specialists.

Coustine Ngwenya, the Chairperson of the Bulawayo Chamber of SMEs (BCSME), who was the guest of honour, commended ZB Financial Holdings for creating such an impactful event.

“This event is a fantastic platform for SMEs to showcase their products and services, and we commend ZB Financial Holdings for creating such an opportunity,” said Ngwenya. “I am sure the theme for the Expo, ‘ACCELERATING GROWTH OF SMEs THROUGH FINANCIAL PARTNERSHIPS’ will energize all of us.”

The BCSME, an affiliate of the Zimbabwe Chamber of SMEs (ZCSMEs), has been actively working to champion the growth and development of SMEs in the country.

Ngwenya highlighted the chamber’s engagement with various government institutions and its pursuit of international collaborations, such as the proposed Memorandum of Understanding with the World Association of SMEs (WASME) headquartered in India.

“These collaborations will provide our members with access to expertise, best practices, and potential international market opportunities,” Ngwenya explained.

The expo also provided an opportunity for SMEs to learn about the services offered by ZB Bank’s dedicated SME unit. Ngwenya urged SMEs to utilize the bank’s offerings, which can help address their challenges, including access to affordable credit, social protection programs, business training, and wider market access.

“Access to affordable finance, training, and market opportunities are key growth drivers for SMEs. We urge ZB Bank to continue developing innovative products tailored to the specific needs of SMEs,” Ngwenya said.

Sibanda echoed the importance of supporting SMEs, stating that the expo was designed to “foster collaboration, learning, and growth.”

She expressed gratitude to the ZB team for their efforts in making the event a reality, and reiterated the bank’s commitment to empowering SMEs and shaping the future of business in Zimbabwe.

As the curtains fell on the successful SME Expo, both ZB Financial Holdings and the Bulawayo Chamber of SMEs reaffirmed their dedication to working together to unlock the full potential of the SME sector, a crucial driver of Zimbabwe’s economic progress.

The next ZB SME Conference and Expo will be held at ZB Sports Club in Harare from 21 to 22 June 2024.

Feature image: Bulawayo Chamber of SMEs chairperson Mr Coustine Ngwenya

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