Young Zims form microenterprise fund

By Simba Manyanya

RGIN: 0in -0.25in 0pt 0in”>JOHANNESBURG – A group of six (6) young enterprising Zimbabweans in exile here have founded a Microenterprise Fund to provide a capital structure that will support their small and micro businesses. According to the founding Chairperson Joshua Mambo Rusere and Treasurer Edmund Nyapepenya, the vision of the MicroEnterprise Fund are self-reliant communities of Zimbabwean immigrants contributing positively to the South African economy. This will be achieved by helping immigrant Zimbabweans create their own income base, which should strengthen their economic position and therefore survival prospects in the country.

Large numbers of Zimbabweans fleeing the crisis at home are finding themselves in more trouble upon arrival in South Africa, as they have to quickly find a job that should protect or advance their economic situation. In many instances the political struggle has lost some of its momentum as young activists in South Africa concentrate their attention to life survival issues.

The mission of the MicroEnterprise Fund is ‘to mobilize, through regular contributions, and consolidate the earnings of community-based small and micro-business organizations into capital structures that facilitate the leveraging of financial resources and their allocation towards start-up capital for new small businesses, training loans and financial and technical assistance to existing member organisations, and other forms of support to others who wish to expand, or strengthen their small businesses’.

Whilst the membership of the MEF is primarily Zimbabwean the organisation will avail its services across the spectrum of clients including other nationalities. “ The existing micro-enterprises which constitute the MEF are microenterprises in every sense of the word. While they were formed from very small capital bases, in small, isolated markets and employing very few people, they are now all at the stage where they are experiencing real growth in terms of their production and output levels are also expanding. You are seeing a situation where someone is now going home with some money, say R500 a week sometimes, which they can use to pay off rentals and buy food and other basic necessities.

Apart from guaranteeing the sustenance of the young immigrants, this is also helping society in many other ways. The youngsters can spend their time productively. More than 50% of the current membership of the MEF members consists of young women. You can also rest assured that poverty would otherwise be forcing many of these young people into bad things like crime.” The MEF expects to grow into a large organisation so that it can provide the levels of services it is targeting. The organisation will be having their own page as part of the Zimbabwe Resource Centre on the soon-to-be-launched website of the Civil Society Forum. As an innovative development created out of own savings the MEF is certainly showing others the way to the future. For further inquiries with the Fund their email contact is [email protected].

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