By Inside Biz

The Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) has revealed that The Vusumnotfo Expo 2023 will run free business seminars from 23 to 24 March at Tums Water World Hotel.

The first seminar, on 23 March will focus on Women in Trade, while the second seminar on the 24th of March will look at Financing for Trade.

This year’s Expo will run from 22-25 March 2023. The event will be taking place for the second year running and is aimed at developing trade and economic activity in Eswatini. The Vusumnotfo Expo is a collaboration between EIPA, the Federation of Eswatini Business Community (FESBC), and Tums Water World Hotel.

Siphesihle Nkhabindze, Manager – Domestic Trade at EIPA gives some background on the activities, “Business people in Eswatini are a key part of stimulating our country’s economic activity. If we are able to increase the number of businesses we can empower with the skills and knowledge they need to grow, then we are making a direct impact on numerous communities and ultimately families around the country by capacitating the citizens who drive our economy.”

He added that they would like to encourage members of the public in need of business information to join them next week. He said as EIPA they are glad to be part of an initiative that is aimed at developing trade in the country, as this is in line with their mandate to attract, enhance and facilitate trade and investment both inside and outside of Eswatini.

Although 23 March will focus on “Women in Trade”, anyone with a business interest in the focus areas is welcome to attend. This seminar is aimed at exposing opportunities in business to prospective and current entrepreneurs.

The opportunities shared are meant to be practical and attainable, which speaks to Vusumnotfo’s ethos of empowering local business owners with knowledge, resources, and networking prospects. 

 The topics the speakers will cover on 23 March include:

·        Services in the business community – Lomkhosi Magagula, Executive Director CMAC

·        The girl child in the trade environment – Thembela Simelane, Vice Chairperson – AfCTA Advisory Council (ICOYACA)

·        The functions of WITAD: Women Development and Trade – Nonduduzo Dlamini, Community Service Worker – WITAD

·        Women in Construction – Catherine Chikosenu – Motsa – Construction Industry Council

·        Women in feedlot farming – Phetsile Sithole – Managing Director Maphetsi Feedlot

Nkabindze noted that the “Financing for Trade” seminar, slated for 24 March, is positioned to empower businesses with the available financing options available for them in Eswatini.

 He acknowledged that finance can often be a barrier to business growth and development meaning that some SMEs find themselves not able to pursue growth opportunities due to a lack of capital.

The topics which will be covered on 24 March include:

·        Services in the business community – Lomkhosi Magagula, Executive Director, CMAC

·        Unpacking eWallet@Till – Nosizwe Sigwane, Head of Product, First National Bank

·        Financial schemes for local business – Gabsile Dlamini, SMME Assistant Manager, Eswatini Bank

·        Unpacking products for business – Mthunzi Dlamini, Business Development Manager, IDCE

·        Unpacking products for business – Colani Shongwe, FINCORP

The Vusumnotfo Expo will kick off with a Business Dinner at E350 per person. The speakers will cover prospects for businesses in Eswatini while looking at Eswatini’s economic prospects for the industry. The speakers include Mluleki Dlamini, Director SME at The Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade, Tenele Habangaan, Systems Operations Planning & Compliance Engineer, EEC, Jabu Shabangu, Chief Financial Officer, Maloma Colliery and Mangaliso Mohammed, ESEPARC.

Businesses or members of the public who would like to book exhibition stands from 23-25 March can contact FESBC at (+268) 7642 8714 or Exhibition stands are available to book at a fee. Informal traders (market stalls) are welcome on 25 March.

Those wanting to buy packages for tickets to the Business Dinner or the Kudla Kwasekhaya Food and Family Fun Fair can also do so by contacting FESBC. 

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