By ROGERS KALERO
WE know that when women take up economic responsibility, they are able to uplift households and communities, United States of America Public Affairs Officer Sean Mclntosh has said.
Mr McIntosh said in the face of economic turmoil, where the mining industry was facing challenges, women could play a role in diversifying the economy by venturing into agriculture, textile and other sectors of the economy
He said the Embassy of the United States of America (USA) under the Women’s Entrepreneurship Access Centre (WEAC) has injected K2.2 million into the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Programme (AWE) with close to over 2, 000 applications received.
He was speaking yesterday at the Copperbelt University (CBU) in Kitwe during the handover of certificates of completion to 30 Kitwe-based AWE
“We know that when women take up economic responsibility, it is powerful and lift up households and communities. You are really to be commended for sticking through.
“We know that, for example here in Kitwe, there have been times of economic successes and economic turmoil which led to job losses hence it is up to you to stand up and fill up the gap as women,” Mr McIntosh said
Mr Mclntosh said the embassy had so far pumped in K2.2 million in the programme up to the second phase and that an additional K1.5 million would be availed in the third phase.
“The programme has been of greatly help to the women entrepreneurs and has helped them to diversify in various businesses. I can say so far K2.2 million has been injected in the programme up to phase two,” he said.
And WEAC executive director Nambula Kachumi said the overwhelming response was a clear indication of resilience in women entrepreneurs in Zambia and were looking for opportunities and support to take their businesses forward.
She said phase two of the programme was launched under the Covid-19 however the response from business owners was overwhelming with close to 2, 000 applications received from Kitwe, Lusaka and Ndola.
She said since the launch of the programme in 2019, WEAC has seen more than 250 women in both phase one and two successfully complete the dream builder entrepreneurship course.
“I must say the organisation was happy to partner with the embassy to bring the programme to Kitwe and Ndola with close to 60 women from different sectors currently enrolled on the programme.
“Zambian women now have a wider opportunity to be empowered with knowledge, tools and resources they need to grow their businesses,” he said