This project is being implemented in all seven (7) districts of operation. The three-year project which commenced in June 2019 is set to end in May 2022 and targets 512 entrepreneurs for which 60% are youth and 40% are adults. The project seeks to reinforce access to markets and access to finance for entrepreneurs supported by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. This involves complimenting already established enterprises under JCP, MEY, Green Enterprises and CUP 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.
Entrepreneurs in selected enterprises are expected to receive specific technical trainings tailor-made according to their individual needs. Technical skills support the entrepreneurs in their enterprises thereby increasing productivity.
Through the Market Linkages Project, entrepreneurs are capacitated to form cluster and commodity associations for collective efficiency in marketing. Look and learn exchange visits of cluster committees are undertaken. Enterprise Competitions are held between participating groups to enhance competitiveness.
Through this project, entrepreneurs are capacitated on market engagement, conducting market survey including full market assessment on high value markets. Entrepreneurs undergo trainings, mentoring and coaching sessions on engaging with markets to enhance their bargaining skills.
To increase productivity, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe´s revolving fund plays a pivotal role in boosting the enterprises supported by the project in the form of micro-loans. Microloans are facilitated through the Revolving Fund as well as through contacts with external financial linkages. Hand in Hand Zimbabwe coordinates with micro-finance and lending institutions with a view of promoting access to alternative sources of funds. Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, however, seeks to ensure that 60% of the population benefitting from loans are women and youth.
Through this project, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe facilitates platforms for entrepreneurs to network with other value chain actors through market fairs at ward and district level and participation in business expos and exhibitions where entrepreneurs market and sell their products.