Women in Enterprise Conference and Awards (WECA) is a one day conference which tackles issues that affect women entrepreneurs and an Awards Gala dinner that recognizes and celebrates successful business women.
What is WECA?
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with supporting partners and different corporate companies hosts an annual conference for women entrepreneurs, in September each year, different speakers are chosen to discuss a topic relevant to women businesses. The goal of the conference is to provide a distinct opportunity for women in business, government, academia, and key actors in civil society organizations to interact, collaborate and share ideas to promote the cause of women’s entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe.
- Provides a networking opportunity for individuals unfamiliar with the Chamber business.
- Increases the value that the Chamber provides to its women owned business members.
- Increases the attendance of Chamber members to this event.
- Is an opportunity for the Chamber to garner new members and increase awareness of all Chamber programs.
Target groups: WECA is open to all women (CEO, Directors, Board members, Professionals, Entrepreneurs, and Managers) from the Private and Public Sector. Male participants’ area also welcome.
Find below WECA Communiques for more information.
Look, Learn and Share Business Visits (LLS) is a program targeting Women Owned Enterprises which aims to foster relations between women in business through proven experience from other successful enterprises.
Company Visits Done
Mothertouch Group of Schools
What is the Purpose of LLS?
The purpose for ZNCC Women’s desk to facilitate this program for women entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe is to help women entrepreneurs and business leaders build their businesses to the next level, and also help raise their company profiles through a hands-on entrepreneurial experience.
The WD LLS program came about after, realizing the need for women entrepreneurs to participate in a business exchange program were budding entrepreneurs are given a chance to learn from successful women in business with proven experience.
Business exchange programs are one of the most important tools and relations for building a sustainable business and to improve business relations among women participating in the program. It is a win-win program where the host organizations can take advantage of the role women play across the corporate value chain i.e. as suppliers, customers and members of communities in which companies work. The visitors meet like-minded business people, and through the visits there is transfer of knowledge, a fresh eye on business ventures and it also opens up new markets and business opportunities.
How does it work?
To create sustainable company visits that in the long run can become traditional events on the chamber calendar. The model is run by ZNCC- WD. The visits will be done once in three months, with the host company being run or owned by a woman. The ZNCC WD will administer the program through information sharing and coordinating the event’s logistics and follow up activities. The visits will be done nationwide subject to the coordinating ZNCC office. The targeted participants are women entrepreneurs and each trip will target 20-25 participants. The WD will also make an effort to have financiers/development agencies take part in the visit to raise awareness on women run companies and also to interact with other women entrepreneurs.
Interested in Hosting a Site Visit?
What is it?
Through the program, ZNCC brings a small group of women entrepreneurs to visit your location, and allows you to highlight and market unique aspects of your organization.
How would the day go?
The agenda for the day (often 2-3 hours total) is rather flexible, and we can work with you to create an outline that suits your preferences. Companies have typically used this as a chance to describe their organizations and discuss various business opportunities. Some have offered tours, delivered a talk that highlights innovation or topics of interest in their industry, or coordinated a staff panel to share their own backgrounds and advice. Some offer opportunities for women entrepreneurs to mingle and network with staff before or after the session.
How many women should we expect?
Participation is typically limited to 20-25 entrepreneurs.
How does this benefit my company?
This is a great opportunity to develop brand recognition among women, market your business, develop contacts, and discover potential cooperation opportunities, acquire knowledge about different businesses owned by women
Woman Owned Brand Label (WOB) is a national campaign addressing the market gap for women owned products by providing a certified label to all standard certified members. Also creating sustainable markets for Women Owned Enterprises through the Supplier Diversity and Inclusion (SDI) Program.
Categories of Woman Owned Brands
Stationary and IT services
Quality Assurance Consulting
Gardening and Cleaning services
Travel and Medical Tour Agents
Consulting Services (Accounting and HR)
Agribusiness (Horticulture and Animal husbandry)
Baking and Confectionary
Manufacturing (i.e beverages, chemicals)
Hospitality Services (Accommodation, Catering, Events Management)
What is the Woman Owned Brand?
The Women Owned Brand Campaign aims to empower women entrepreneurs, support their access to markets and facilitate opportunities for growth and scaling so that they can play a stronger role in the Zimbabwean economy.
The programme has three main steps:
- To certify businesses that are 51% owned, controlled and managed by a woman/women as Women Business Enterprises (WBE).
- To conduct a consumer awareness campaign to persuade the public to support women in business (SDI Program)
- To facilitate the growth and development of women-owned companies by building their capacity so that they can play a key role in the value chain and access more and better business opportunities in corporate supply chains.
Supplier Diversity and Inclusion program is an initiative that connects women entrepreneurs with markets particularly corporate supply chains by having an SDI Partner commit a certain percentage of their procurement budget to tap be accessed by ZNCC-WD certified WBEs.
What does being a part of the WoB mean?
Women Owned Businesses (WBEs) to become certified as a woman owned brand, businesses must show:
- Clear and documented evidence that at least 51% or more is women-owned, managed, and controlled.
- The business must be open for at least one year.
- The business owner must be a Zimbabwean citizen or legal resident alien.
Evidence must indicate that:
- The contribution of capital and/or expertise by the woman business owner is real and substantial and in proportion to the interest owned.
- The woman business owner must direct or cause the direction of management, policy, fiscal, and operational matters.
- The woman business owner shall have the ability to perform in the area of specialty or expertise without reliance on either the finances or resources of a firm that is not owned by a woman.
Certification is done at the ZNCC regional or national offices. The ZNCC-WD does charge a non-refundable application fee. Certification must be renewed each year along with payment of annual fee if company gets business from SDI partners. Certification application forms can be obtained from ZNCC offices.
Mentorship in Practice (MiP) is a 12 months program designed to strengthen the leadership skills of mentors and mentees participating. The program recognizes the connection between aspiring women entrepreneurs and prominent business leaders as the missing piece to having more women on the business map.
Congratulations to our Class of 2016!
Zorodzai Chenhidza, OLSPS Zimbabwe
Sonia Dzapasi, Sonia’s Events
Thelma Chirenje, Indulge Cakes
Rumbidzai Ndoro, Progifts Promotions
Maiwepi Jiti, Yardford Farm Pvt Ltd
Charlene Chekenya, Brandspan Corporate Communications
What is Mentorship in Practice?
The Mentorship in Practice program is an exclusive opportunity for aspiring women in business to learn and get skills in business leadership with top women business leaders. Starting and running an enterprise can be an all-consuming endeavour for an entrepreneur, leaving little time to build relationships in the business community. This can pose particular challenges for entrepreneurs who have narrower networks or less access to the capital, expertise and connections needed to succeed and scale up.
MiP aims to help bring small women in business from all walks of life to the mainstream BMO and help them grow as leaders in the business and also become mentors to the next generation.
What does being a part of MiP mean?
During the 12 months program, more than 15 aspiring or small business owners who are selected through a vetting process will be paired with a prominent woman in business to develop a deeper understanding of what is needed to either start or grow a business. They'll also attend exclusive networking forums as a group to share issues and challenges facing their own businesses and who they are faring in the program.
How does it work?
To qualify, applicants must be a female with majority ownership of a business that has been running for at least 6 months.
This opportunity is open to all women in business nationwide. Participation fee for members is discounted.
- Call for application announced every May
- Class begins July
- Class Graduates in July the next year
Women-owned businesses are growing at twice the rate of all businesses and have done so for nearly two decades. Women business owners are optimistic about the future and almost all business women in Zimbabwe plan to grow their businesses over the next three to five years. It makes good business sense for the community to support these firms by providing knowledge, skills and tools for their growth and above all sustainable markets for their products.