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Project information

Business Skills Development Programme

With unemployment in Zimbabwe at over 90%, our Programme equips young people with skills - such as carpentry or bicycle servicing – to set up businesses, contribute to the local economy and support their families. Longer term, the businesses will train and employ others in their local communities.

6 months.

Charity information: The Sustainable, Ecological And Economic Development Project (The SEED Project)

The Sustainable, Ecological And Economic Development Project (The SEED Project) logo
  • Need


    Unemployment in Zimbabwe is over 90%. In some areas, 96% of citizens live on less than $1/day. The education system does not consistently equip young Zimbabweans with the skills to support themselves and their families. Many young people leave school early to try to earn a living, or emigrate to find work. There is an urgent need to move beyond reliance on overseas aid and to empower Zimbabweans to lift themselves out of poverty through stable work that benefits their families and communities.


    Building on the success of previous sessions, we will recruit up to 160 young Zimbabweans aged 16-35. Participants will receive 15 hours of practical training to develop the requisite skills to help them set up businesses and contribute to the local economy. Specific vocational skills will be determined following a needs assessment, but are likely to include rug-making, weaving, and bicycle repair. The training will involve exposure to real-life examples, plus mentoring and follow-up.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Participants will develop practical skills.


    » Identify 160 unemployed young people in Harare and surrounding areas, in eight neighbourhood groups of 20.
    » Assess the young people's capacity and gaps in the market to identify which vocational skills to focus on e.g. weaving, bicycle repair, or carpentry.
    » Provide 3-week courses of vocational training in selected skills to eight groups of 20 participants each.
    » Use real-life experiences and practical examples to develop these skills.

    What success will look like

    Trainees demonstrate new vocational skills, tested by trainers. We will record attendance and seek feedback. We will keep in contact after training ends and monitor skills usage.

    Aim 2

    Participants will develop business skills.


    » Train the same 160 young people in business skills such as pricing, understanding the market and book-keeping, as part of the same 3-week course.
    » Use worked examples from participants' own experiences to demonstrate new techniques or solutions.

    What success will look like

    Trainees demonstrate new business skills, tested by trainers. We will record attendance and seek feedback. We will keep in contact after training ends and monitor skills usage.

    Aim 3

    Participants will set up their own businesses.


    » Provide business mentoring support as part of the training, in groups of about 5 participants.
    » Advice and guidance will be received from successful Programme “graduates” and from other Programme workers.

    What success will look like

    We will maintain records of how many participants established their own businesses, defined by participants who start making sales within 3 months of Programme completion.

    Aim 4

    Participants will train and support others in their local communities.


    » Train and mentor participants to provide employment and volunteering opportunities in their businesses.
    » Train and mentor participants to train others in their newly-acquired business skills.
    » Train and mentor participants to promote the Programme via networks in their local communities.

    What success will look like

    We will maintain records of how many participants engaged others in employment and volunteering or publicised the Programme, and understand effective methods for doing the latter.

  • Impact


    Participants will utilise their business knowledge and practical skills to set up their own businesses. Some businesses will grow to employ and/or train others in their communities. We aim for participants to become Programme advocates and even trainers. We will demonstrate this through the number of businesses created, the increase in income for participants after 12 months, the number of family members benefitting from the income and through interest generated in the Programme.


    • We may not raise sufficient funds: a scaled-down Programme will run with fewer participants.
    • A trainer may withdraw from the Programme: all trainers receive a thorough induction. We sometimes recruit previous Programme graduates as trainers. Trainers are remunerated in line with market rates.
    • Local officials may view such an empowerment programme as politically motivated: SEED has developed excellent working relationships with local authorities and will meet regularly with local leaders.


    Donors who provide their contact details will be invited to subscribe to SEED’s newsletter. We will be able to provide a separate report for Champions if required, and will post photos and case studies on SEED’s social media pages. We will ensure compliance with the GDPR in our communications.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £7,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £751 Trainer Fee To deliver 8 sessions, for 20 participants each.
      £2,808 Venue and Materials To include refreshments and all training materials.
      £135 Transport For the 8 training sessions.
      £124 Transport For the Monitoring & Evaluation phase.
      £169 Internet Mobile access for project duration.
      £174 Transfer of Funds Monthly transfer fees from the UK to Zimbabwe.
      £1,439 Project Management Project Management, Monitoring & Evaluation by Zimbabwe-based staff.
      £1,400 Additional Costs Finance, Administration, Communications, HR, Governance (Zimbabwe and UK).
  • Background


    We will recruit participants in the urban slums of Chitungwiza and Mufakose in or near Harare, and in the rural area of Murehwa to the north of the capital. SEED already has links with schools in these areas, having helped run health campaigns and drugs awareness programmes. Communities will be selected based on needs assessments.

    Training sessions will take place in local churches and community centres. It is then envisaged that participants will set up businesses in their local communities.


    We work in communities with high unemployment, low levels of education, and few opportunities. The Programme will target up to 160 men and women aged 16-35 who are struggling to make a living, including those who are HIV+ or who have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS and who may have numerous dependents. A sustainable income can lift entire families out of severe poverty and develop the local economy. It is expected that participants will share their new skills with others in their communities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since 2009, SEED's Skills Programme has trained 620 young people and reached 880 family/community members. SEED’s two Community Development Workers grew up in Zimbabwe and thus have a good understanding of the needs of their fellow citizens. The diverse projects that SEED runs (including cholera health education, tree-planting) have reached over 100,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries. We are committed to rigorous project management.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Robert Kazunga.

    A male co-ordinator incentivises male participants. Robert will build relationships with male participants and will conduct monitoring / evaluation.

    Nyasha Migioni.

    A female co-ordinator inspires female participants. Nyasha will build relationships with such participants, and will conduct monitoring / evaluation.

    Community Leader.

    This may be a chief or headman. Their buy-in will be important to project success.

    Local Official.

    This may be a council official or ministry representative. Their buy-in will be important to project success.


will pay for one participant to develop life changing skills that will lead to a sustainable future