Michael Mahoronga, Midlands Reporter
Mr. Metro Madiza, a REDCLIFF youth entrepreneur, started a new retail business called JABN Supermarket, which created 40 jobs.
The supermarket is part of a business network operating under the Empire of the Join Africa Business Network (JAPN), which includes a hardware store in Quakeway, a hotel in Coquay and a mini supermarket and a food outlet in Quakeway.
More than 200 young people work in this network. The new supermarket Redcliffe is set to cut costs for residents so they no longer have to go to Quakeway to shop.
The Minister for Women’s Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises, Dr. Siddembiso Neoni, who officially opened the grocery store in Satellite City last Wednesday, said it was encouraging for young people to see their role in reducing poverty and economic growth.
“The government recognizes that economic empowerment of the youth is an important area and needs support. Therefore, my Ministry, along with the youth and higher and tertiary education, prioritizes the implementation of strategies and programs to promote the growth and economic growth of SMEs in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Dr Neoni said the SME sector has grown to be a contributor to the country’s economic growth. He added that it was high time for the number of jobs created by the informal sector and for SMEs to be a factor in key economic figures.
“SMEs and the informal sector contribute to job creation. Statistics show that Zimbabwe has an unemployment rate of 80 percent, but if we factor in SMEs, we find that it drops to only 5.7 percent,” Dr. Neoni said.
The SME sector continues to grow amidst many challenges, but the government has flattened itself to ensure it faces challenges.
“What can the government do to address the challenges faced by SMEs in ensuring that the youth and the informal sector are economically self-sufficient,” he said.
Redcliffe Mayor, Cllr Clayton Masiyatswa said the new supermarket would go a long way in the local authority chasing the dream of a city by 2030.
“We are chasing the dream of becoming a city by 2030. We are pleased to see that it plays a key role in the youth empowerment movement and help us achieve status,” he said.
“We encourage more young people to follow Mr. Madiza and start their own businesses as they contribute to economic growth,” said Claire Masiyatswa.