Financial literacy lessons for rural entrepreneurs

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Financial literacy lessons for rural entrepreneurs

A LOCAL non-governmental organisation has embarked on a financial literacy training project targeting villagers.

The villagers are taught how to market their products to enable them to contribute to the bigger economy.

Youth Invest, funded by the US Embassy, held a three-day training workshop for about 100 villagers including traditional leaders from Chidobe, Sizinda and Ndlovu at Emfundweni Primary School outside Victoria Falls. 

The villagers, most of whom are active players in the tourism industry and also sell curios and basketry, were trained on marketing strategies including digital marketing, financial literacy, craft storytelling and how to establish a market centre where they can sell their wares.

Each villager trades individually and some are reportedly duped by middlemen. Youth Invest director, Miss Nomqhele Samantha Siziba said communities can grow if they establish market hubs.

She challenged participants to use social media productively for marketing purposes and eliminate the middlemen.

“Digital marketing will benefit them as they will be able to market their products direct to the public than to use agents who exploit them. 

“Most of these people just sell their products for a song because they don’t know they have the potential to strike business deals and get huge rewards,” said Miss Siziba. 

“We are teaching them how to draft budgets, keep records and how to set prices for the craft ware.”

The organisation has helped villagers to set-up Siyanzezela Cultural Arts and Village Tours centre, a hub from where they will be selling and showcasing their products. One of the aims of the workshop was also to ensure villagers reduce on cutting down trees to make wood curios.

A villager Mr Melusi Ndlovu said: “I learnt a lot from financial literacy coaching and we now know that we don’t need to cut a lot of trees to make money but can make profit by having sustainable fixed prices for our products.”

Chidobe Ward 3 Councillor, Mr Givemeagain Moyo, commended the organisation for empowering the community. 

He said efforts were being made to secure land for villagers to operate from so that they benefit from tourism.

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