HiHZim hosts Plumtree market linkages mini-fair

Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiHZim) is this week hosting a mini fair in Plumtree in a bid to link rural entrepreneurs with larger markets.

The trade fair, which is being held in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation from October 21 to 25 at 4JS Plumtree, will see entrepreneurs from Bulilima District selling their wares to a bigger audience.

Most entrepreneurs and business upstarts in Zimbabwe fail to grow due to lack of access to markets and finance. However, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe constantly links entrepreneurs under its portfolio with both local and international markets at various platforms as part of strategies to reduce poverty and empower people in marginalised areas.

Brighton Dube, HiHZim Plumtree Area Manager, said the purpose of the mini fair is to expose the entrepreneurs that the organisation is working with in Bulilima and also help facilitate market linkages within Plumtree Town.

He added that the platform will also enable HIHZim supported entrepreneurs from various wards to share experiences and skills on how to improve product quality.

“We are bringing entrepreneurs from all eight wards that we are operating in to exhibit and showcase their various enterprises,” Dube said.

“We want entrepreneurs to interact with the market, explain how they make their products, outline the challenges they face so that potential buyers and stakeholders get to appreciate the challenges and potential that they people have.

“We believe this interface will nurture a collaborative effort with the Plumtree community in supporting and assisting the entrepreneurs,” Dube said.

Products and wares to be exhibited include traditional foods, crafts and household material.

The Mini-Fair is being hosted under the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Market Linkages Project, which aims at increasing the market share of entrepreneurs supported by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. This will translate into increased household incomes and sustainable enterprises.

The project, which seeks to reinforce access to markets and finance for entrepreneurs supported by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, focuses on complimenting already established enterprises under JCP, MEY, Green Enterprises and CUP.

This will be achieved through strengthening access to finance and market linkages in selected value chains such as horticulture, small livestock, apiculture and food processing in order to boost productivity, competitiveness, high income and sustainability.

MLP is being implemented in seven districts of operation namely Bulilima, Chikomba, Chirumanzu, Gwanda, Lupane, Nkayi and Shurugwi.

The three-year project, which commenced in June 2019, is set to end in December 2020 and targets 512 entrepreneurs.  It is fully funded by the Osterberg Foundation.