Women entrepreneurs keep Zimbabwe’s economy afloat

On eve of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, experts say, thousands of females venturing into businesses are helping country’s economy

Jeffrey Moyo   | 18.11.2021
Women entrepreneurs keep Zimbabwe’s economy afloat File Photo

KADOMA, Zimbabwe 

Even as 90% of people in the southern African country of Zimbabwe remain reportedly unemployed and the economy teetering to the brink with 100% inflation, as many as 261,000 women across the country have won laurels by engaging in income generation projects.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on eve of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day which is being observed on Friday, Tracy Makwara, 34, who has invested in a thriving gold mine in Kadoma, 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of capital Harare said her business has changed lives in the vicinity.

“I am so happy as a woman that I have managed to do this. This is an industry that is dominated by men,” she said.

She has employed several men, who are sole breadwinners for their families.

In Harare, another female entrepreneur, 29-year-old Pelagia Murindazu, has made wonders by venturing into making fancy candles.

Her candle-making company known as Melt-it-in Silent Pool employs 25 workers producing candles that are exported to Dubai and many countries in the West including Africa’s economic powerhouse -- South Africa.

“So far, we have ventured into Dubai, the UK, South Africa, just to mention a few where we are seeing business opportunities. In these countries, for instance, we have contacts who are already marketing our products,” said Murindazu.

Barely two years after she ventured into making candles for parties and romantic candlelight dinners, Murindazu has become a force to reckon with in Zimbabwe’s business community.

Taking a cue from Makwara and Murindazu, Harare-based 51-year-old Linda Musekwa has turned to agriculture farming and Rudo Muyambo, 25, has invested in the mass production of cakes.

“Times are changing and women are running more thriving enterprises, even turning the economic fortunes of the country as they are employing many people in the process,” Lington Mutunhu, an economist based in Kadoma, told Anadolu Agency.

- Price rise can be a spoiler

As women entrepreneurs steal the show in Zimbabwe, Taurai Kandishaya, the national coordinator of the Zimbabwe Citizens Forum -- a civil society organization with links to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) -- said she is upbeat about women’s entrepreneurial skills.

“No doubt about it, women are doing a wonderful job, and yes, men face stiffer competition from the women entrepreneurs,” he told Anadolu Agency.

He added that hand-made products made by female entrepreneurs are offering citizens a cheaper alternative.

But he warned that rising prices are hitting female entrepreneurs.

“Our women entrepreneurs may eventually be affected by price rise of the raw materials they use in their entrepreneurial endeavors, which may eventually force them to increase their prices as well,” said Kandishaya.

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