Government has been challenged to ensure that the $381 million funding that has been availed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to cater for the financial needs of previously marginalised groups should be made easily accessible.

This came out during the official opening of a women entrepreneurship development training workshop held in Gwanda today.

Speaking on behalf of women entrepreneurs during the launch of a training workshop facilitated by a local financier and the Harare Institute of Technology in Gwanda today, a former banker and hotelier Ms Sithembinkosi Nyathi said it is imperative to deal with the excessive bureaucracy and red tape that has always affected access to funding for most women.

As much there have been a number of facilities aimed at providing the much needed financial assistance, for the SMEs sector accessing the money has been almost impossible was the consensus among the women.

“I’ve made several efforts to access the funding for my business without success. One is actually supposed to have a budget to get the money … .so all we are saying please make this money easily accessible,” Ms Nyathi said. 

Responding to the concerns raised by the women, the deputy governor of the RBZ Dr Jessymine Chipika said unlike other facilities, their thrust is inclined towards development financing, assuring that challenges in accessing funds will also be revisited to ensure that financial inclusivity is attained.

“In terms of problems of access to finance we will continue to interact with the implementers and beneficiaries and we will continuously revise the access modalities,” she said.

Homelink Finance and the Harare Institute of Technology will be training about 80 women in the district on financial literacy so that they come up with bankable and sustainable projects.

“Sometimes people come up with half backed projects. The idea is that after this training we want to see an improvement,” said Mr Desmund Ali – Managing Director Homelink Finance.

Pro Vice Chancellor of the Harare Institute of Technology Dr Maxwell Chanakira said; “As Harare Institute of Technology we design the training, deliver and monitor its effectiveness. Our aim is to ensure that the women who are trained are able to form their enterprises and create jobs and move out of poverty”.   

The training workshop that will end on the 24th of this month is being run under the theme, “Entrepreneurship Mindset for Sustainable Business”.

Among the funds that business people in the province can take up is the $15 million women empowerment fund, the $150 million gold support facility while persons with disability have been allotted $5 million.