HeForShe Impact Summit

Consistent with the 2030 Global Goals (SDGs) , in particular SDG5 on women empowerment, the UN Women Zimbabwe and European Union hosted the HeForShe Impact summit yesterday in Harare.

This is with view to increase participation of male business leaders in private sector to promote gender equality in the workplace, including gender responsive procurement and recruitment.

Yours truly as Chairperson of the Women Owned Business Zimbabwe (WOBT) was part of the 5 member High level panel discussion.

My brief points I put across were

1) 30% of businesses are owned by women mainly at micro and small scale , but receive less than 1% of large corporate and govt spend due to corruption and bias that impair fairness in procurement processes. Again, there are more women start ups than male.

Businesses by women have capacity to employ more women, therefore can contribute more to the economy.

2) WOBT idea is about addressing this problem as it aims to support the access of women owned enterprises to sustainable markets and facilitate opportunities for growth and scaling so they can play a stronger and meaningful to the Zim economy (as what I have managed to do).

This is through linking these enterprises to corporate and govt supply chains.

3) WOBT has partnered with corporates like Schweppes, Nestle, Total Energies, Econet, ZB Bank, Pulse and others whose combined spend budget is about USD1bil as Supplier Diversity and Inclusion partners (SDI). They have pledged to increase their spend on women businesses from1% to 15-20% in the next 3 years.

Other key strategic and collaborative partners have come on board for this game changing initiative that will make a significant impact like @UNWomenZimbabwe, ILO, Canada Embassy, Min of Women Affairs, Gender Comm, CZI, Chamber of Mines and others.

Thank you Fatou Lo UN Women Country Director, Ambassdor EU, for indeed, we are STRONGER TOGETHER.

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