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Call for Expression of Interest for Consultancy Service: Developing a public policy brief on issues affecting entrepreneurial development amongst the women of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and Women Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (WABAZ)

Deadline: 18 May 2012

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Organisational Background

Women Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (WABAZ) is COALITION of women in business associations in Zimbabwe. WABAZ was formed in July 2011 under the auspices of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) for the purposes of connecting female entrepreneurs with the resources necessary to integrate them into mainstream economy. WABAZ as a coalition for women business organizations, representing over 12,000 informal and formal women entrepreneurs, from throughout the country aims at supporting these organizations to speak with a unified voice on issues that affect women entrepreneurs, advocating through collective action for policy reforms, and encouraging greater grassroots participation in strengthening economic democracy in Zimbabwe.

Mission Statement

WABAZ empowers women in business through dialogue, advocacy, networking and information sharing.

Project Background

Since 2009, Zimbabwe is undergoing change. This transformation is largely due to the Global Political Agreement that temporarily resolved the political crisis precipitated by the elections in 2008. The unity government was able to prevent the further disintegration of the economy that had shrunk 40 percent over 10 years. One of the groups hardest hit by the economic crisis are women entrepreneurs working in the informal sector that suffered from unemployment, underemployment, hunger, and even an increase in domestic violence.

While the immediate political and economic future is uncertain, the hope that the people of Zimbabwe will build a functioning democracy will never be realized unless women are integrated into the mainstream economy. Women economic empowerment is one of the most effective tools to ensure that women become effective participants in transforming society and the current problems plaguing the country and actively participating in the democratic process. Women have been marginalized in this society, most significantly in the economic sector. It is therefore important that at these initial stages of transformation, the needs of women entrepreneurs are known. It is also important that women entrepreneurs be equipped with the tools to participate in democratic governance and the freedom of association to be long-term contributors in rebuilding Zimbabwe.

Despite the adoption of policy instruments that seek to empower women, the Government of Zimbabwe is facing a number of challenges. These challenges include the challenge of providing services, a cumbersome bureaucracy that does not incentivize women entrepreneurs to join the formal economy, and a lack of strong partners among various civil society groups. The inadequacy of government's effort and resources in empowering women calls for strategic partnership between the public sector and the private sector.

The Assignment

To facilitate the development of a public policy brief that addresses the needs of women entrepreneurs and suggesting specific recommendations to the authorities. Based on the information collected during regional meetings and monthly meetings of representative leaders of women's business organizations, the consultant is expected to come up with a synthesised policy briefs that will inform the advocacy by WABAZ.

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