Gender equality is a human right, but our world faces a persistent gap in access to opportunities and decision-making for women and men. Globally, women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, greater health and safety risks, and less political representation. Guaranteeing the rights of women and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for attaining gender equality, but also for meeting a wide-range of international development goals. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities and countries, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone.
In 2013, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) took the chance to address these inequalities after it realised that women’s economic empowerment is an effective tool to encourage Zimbabwean women’s participation in the transformation of the society, economy and policy-making process and saw it necessary to form a desk to concentrate on women in business issues. Thus, the ZNCC Women’s Desk (WD) emerged.
The Women’s Desk is currently chaired by the ZNCC deputy president Divine Ndhlukula, a seasoned business woman who is the founder of Securico, one of the top security companies in Zimbabwe.
It is through this unique desk that the Women in Enterprise conference and Awards (WECA) was conceived in a quest to craft strategies that are aimed at equipping and empowering women to successfully participate and benefit from Chamber activities and play their part in the economic revival of Zimbabwe. This platform also intends to help businesswomen to ultimately upscale their businesses and produce a breed of successful women entrepreneurs who can build generation businesses at a national and international level.
The inaugural edition of Women in Enterprise Conference and Awards themed “The roadmap to Zimbabwe’s desired future: Assessing and recognising women-contribution to the economy.” During this inaugural WECA event, the idea to start a mentorship programme was initiated in response to the need identified during the conference and was crystallised with the first group of 25 mentor/mentee couples being trained in a mentorship clinic by the ZNCC Women’s Desk in partnership with the Chamber Trade Sweden. The programme now in its second year of running offers aspiring female entrepreneurs and professionals an opportunity to benefit from business advisory services offered by prominent WECA alumni and other women achievers.
This year the Women’s Desk thrust will focus on the following initiatives;
Women in Enterprise Conference and Awards (WECA): The one day conference aims to address and develop the role of women in the private sector and to celebrate the success of women in the economic development of Zimbabwe through an awards gala dinner.
Mentorship in Practice (MiP) : MiP’s mission is to build the future women business leaders through mentorship of upcoming women who are paired for 12 months with business leaders that have achieved high success levels
Women Owned Business Label (WOB): The WOB Label is a national campaign that seeks to foster an increase for demand for goods and services bearing the WOB logo which will be available to certified women owned businesses.
Look, Learn and Share Business Visits (LLS): A practical programme for women to visit, learn, and network at various business entities.
Through the Women’s Desk, women who have successfully established their own business and are recognised through Women in Enterprise Conference and Awards (WECA). Some of the women who have been awarded include, Faith Ntabeni Bhebe, Faith Mawande Katsaura, Rose Vambe, Tsungie Banga, Anne Ncube, Elizabeth
Magaya, Smelly Dube, and Plaxedes Wenyika to mention but a few.
The Women’s Desk will continue to be the “Voice of Women in Business” through advocacy, business advisory, business networking, informative workshops, and group discussions on challenging issues proffering solutions, and participating in local, regional and international business events.
The Women’s Desk is not only represented in Harare, but across the country. Do not miss the opportunity to get empowered. For more information on how to join the ZNCC Women’s Desk contact the our regional office on;
5th Floor Zambia House
48 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue
Tel: +263 4 293 55 30|1
8th Ave and Fort Street| 100 a
Public Library Building
Tel: 09 70336
Manicaland and Chiredzi region
Agribank Complex Hurudza House | 1st Floor Office No. 7
Tel :+263 20 69285
Midlands Chapter region
3 Marinor Court|25 Main Street|
Cell:+263 772 383 225