STELLAR Project Equips Informal Traders with Digital Skills
Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) has embarked on a project to ensure that young informal traders are capacitated with survival skills in times of economic hardships further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organisation is a partner in the Strengthening The Livelihoods for Urban Youths (STELLAR) project. Other partners in the STELLAR initiative are Youth Innovation for Transformation Trust, Centre for Innovation and Technology, and Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association. The project seeks to enhance digital skills for young traders in running their businesses, offering capital for business ventures through a revolving fund facility, savings, and investment literacy, advocacy on policymaking, raising constitutional awareness, and enhancement of business skills.
At the moment, over 500 youths of the 600 targeted have been reached through online learning. VISET Information and Publicity Officer Jabulani Chikomwe said that their goal is to see young traders being masters of their destiny and informed enough to be able to make informed demands to solution holders through deepening constitutional rights awareness.
Jabulani further said that they as VISET will continue making demands for transparent processes of informal markets allocation processes, citing their tour of Mbare Musika market where youths bemoaned the fact that market stalls were being passed down as inheritance, yet there were many people on the waiting list. Jabulani said they would be convening a meeting with Council officials to get clarity on the matter, as well as finding enquiring on progress from the City of Harare in the development of satellite markets.
A young informal trader, Esnaty Chirwa says expressed her gratitude for the support rendered to her by the STELLAR project as she is now in the process of expanding her spice selling business.
‘“STELLAR helped me to break into new markets by equipping me with digital skills that ensured that the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect my business. I am indebted to VISET for according to me the opportunity to be part of the program and I hope that it will continue for the benefit of other youths’, said Chirwa.