Growing Inclusive Business
With a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$ 1,700, Zambia is considered a lower middle-income country with noticeable economic growth. Large portions of the population, however, have not shared in the overall improvement of national prosperity. Despite the increase in GDP, Zambia’s income inequality has widened, evidenced by rise in Gini-coefficient from 0.65 in 2014 to 0.69 in 2017.Unemployment and underemployment rates are as high as 7.9% and 10.2% respectively. Unemployment rates are highest in urban areas at 14% compared to 3% in rural areas, leading to geographic inequality. Among youth, male unemployment is particularly high for the age group 20-24, while female unemployment is high for the age group 15- 24, standing over 25%.
The new “Growing Inclusive Business” programme is promoting innovations for business acceleration to improve the livelihoods of low-income communities. The programme is aimed at increasing the contribution that the private sector can make to advancing inclusive and sustainable economic growth and based on the principle that productive sectors should expand income-earning opportunities that are decent and sustainable, especially for youth and women in the poorest areas. The programme is led by UNDP and the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) and is implemented in close cooperation with other relevant ministries, agencies and stakeholders.
The “Growing Inclusive Business” programme has been conceived to compensate for several challenges, including, 1) limited access to skills development opportunities for poor communities, especially in rural areas; 2) limited access to business development services that promote employment and innovative entrepreneurship; and 3) limited access to factors of production, including infrastructure.
This programme is especially aimed at the people living in peri urban and urban areas of Zambia, through provision of technical assistance and injection of risk capital to enterprises that are MSMEs with special focus on youth and women-led start-up companies, they could be individuals, groups or cooperatives in Zambia, and the creation of innovation and business incubation hubs.
This programme aims to support innovation and impactful entrepreneurship, including access to innovation and business acceleration opportunities and providing mentorship, technical assistance, and finance to start-up companies and MSMEs, run by women and youth, that focus on development challenges through innovative business models that empower people and deliver sustainable solutions. To develop and support this programme to reach the intended goal, partnerships with various stakeholders, particularly in the key sectors: ICT, agriculture, mining, tourism, and production and distribution sectors will be sought.
United Nations Development Programme
Government of the Republic of Zambia Ministry of Health
Medical Stores Limited Zambia
The Churches Health Association of Zambia
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