The inaugural National Youth Business Expo would be held in Bulawayo this week to assist young entrepreneurs to grow their business potential and tap into local and global trade markets.
Organised by the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, with the support from African Development Bank (AfDB), the gathering will run under the theme: “Revitalising and Empowering Youth Business Across Value Chain”.
African Development Bank
The platform is expected to help the youth in sharing ideas and business experiences as well as networking with established business executives.
The ministry’s deputy director of communications and advocacy, Mr Ranson Madzamba, said the event will run between Thursday and Saturday (2-4 June) at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo.
He said the platform was critical given the potential the youth have in running productive businesses and creating new innovations.
However, he said many youth start-ups were facing challenges in accessing markets, which limits their breakthroughs, forcing some to collapse before fulfilling their potential.
“A large number of youths have not developed business networks that are necessary for them to penetrate markets, interact with well-established businesses to accord them mentorship opportunities and interact with colleagues to discuss challenges hindering progress,” said Mr Madzamba.
“The specific objectives of the National Youth Business Expo are to create a platform to showcase and market products and services produced by young entrepreneurs at national level and to create a platform for youths to interact with established companies who may be suppliers of raw materials and consumers of their finished products”, he said.
In order to bridge the networking gap among young entrepreneurs, the Ministry of Youth in 2016 introduced the “Annual Provincial Youth Expos” initiative, which provides platforms for youths to engage, connect and learn.
Since then, provinces have been holding youth expos, which have helped expose brilliant business ideas and products.