ZimTrade Eagles Nest Youth Export Incubation Programme 2022 for Zimbabwe Entrepreneurs
ZimTrade has launched a youth export incubation programme titled Eagles’ Nest that will run from March to December 2020 in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru.
The objective of the programme is to nurture youth-led SME’s into export-ready companies.
This will be achieved through various interventions that are aimed at improving the competitiveness of youth-owned enterprises and developing linkages to local and international markets.
Undoubtedly, the youth are an important demography in the global economy and according to the United Nations, Africa has the fastest growing youth population in the world, with approximately 60 percent of its population under the age of 24.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) states that, “a focus on youth in trade is particularly relevant today, given that young people account for a large and growing proportion of the population in many developing countries.”
ITC further notes that many Zimbabwe’s young people are increasingly showing interest and venturing into sectors such as agriculture and agro-processing that perform well on the export market.
Considering this, the Eagles nest programme capitalises on the successes of some of the youth-led businesses on the local market, which also indicate potential for export market.
Allan Majuru, ZimTrade CEO said it is important to include young people in all activities aimed at increasing Zimbabwe’s share of the export market.
“Youth represent the future of a society and its economy therefore it is important that we include the youth when we talk of increasing Zimbabwean exports.
“The youth incubation programme will ensure that young people are capacitated and able to create sustainable export enterprises that guarantee the future trade success for Zimbabwe,” said Majuru.
With regards to implementations, the incubation programme will be divided into 3 phases where 10 out of 100 youth-led companies will be chosen to participate in various training and interventions to capacitate them for the export markets.
After receiving support, the 10 youth-owned SMEs will contest in the national final were the overall winner will be selected.
The winner of Eagles Nest progamme will get a chance to receive support from ZimTrade to attend trade fairs in ideal markets specific to their products and a six-month expert intervention from PUM and SES organisations to ensure their businesses can scale up and improve the product competitiveness on the export markets.
A television reality show will be produced out of this programme as well, with the objective to gain an international audience which will give an opportunity to showcase the ingenuity of young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs to the world.
Implementation phases of youth export incubation programme
Phase 1: Pitch Week
This stage will consist 100 SMEs throughout the country selected after submission of short export project proposals (1 pagers).
After their proposal is approved, they will go through an export awareness seminar and will perform an elevator “pitch” in front of a panel of judges.
This programme will be conducted in four major cities, that is, Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare and shall culminate in the selection of youth-owned 50 SMEs for the next stage.
Phase 2: The Incubator
The 50 SMEs will receive capacity building assistance after a needs assessment is
conducted which will include training in the following:
✓ Marketing and Branding for International Competitiveness
✓ Export Packaging Training
✓ Quality Management
✓ Financial Management
✓ Intellectual Property Management
Selected youth-led businesses will receive mentorship from the ZimTrade Associate trainers on export enable them to become exporters of their product or service on an ongoing basis.
Thereafter they will produce an export marketing plan and will also pitch their proposals in front of a panel of judges.
10 youth-owned SMEs will be selected from this phase.
Phase 3: Flight of the Eagle
The 10 selected youth-owned SMEs will receive technical support from a team of both local collaborators and international experts. Local collaborators will include:
✓ Advertising Agency- To assist the youth-owned SMEs on branding issues
✓ ZIMRA -To assist with registration for trade agreements
✓ Freight Forwarders – To assist with distribution strategy
✓ PUM &SES Experts – to assist in various areas including production
Selected youth-led businesses will receive mentorship from prominent entrepreneurs from industry.
After receiving support, the 10 youth-owned SMEs will contest in the national final were the overall winner will be selected
Eligibility to participate in youth export incubation programme
For businesses to be eligible for selection they should have the following qualities:
• The business should be run by someone between the ages of 18-35
• The business should be involved in value addition or horticultural products (excludes mining and fuel)
• The businesses should be easily scalable and demonstrate that it has been operating for at least two years
• The business should be locally owned and innovative
Interested participants who wish to participate in the programme can download the application form and send on email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with the subject “Eagles’ Nest”. Alternatively completed forms can be submitted by email or hand-delivered to ZimTrade’s offices in Harare or Bulawayo.
For more Information: ZimTrade Eagles Nest Youth Export Incubation Programme 2022 for Zimbabwe Entrepreneurs