Barrick Lumwana, in collaboration with the Accelerated Growth for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Zambia (AGS) Programme and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Access Center (WEAC), has officially launched the 10X Business Accelerator Programme at the Lumwana Premier Resort in Manyama, Kalumbila.
The Business Accelerator Programme, to be implemented by WEAC, aims to build business capacity for local contractors in Barrick’s mining supply chain and to support them in effecting their growth plans, diversifying their markets to become sustainable beyond the mine’s operations. Barrick’s 10X Business Accelerator Programme is further aimed at enabling the SMEs to better position themselves for sustainable growth, including the capacity to bid for, and service larger supply tenders.
Rigorous selection criteria were used and informed by the findings from a baseline survey and an Extreme Build a Business (E-BAB) Workshop assessment. The first 15 companies were then selected to participate in the ‘Mentor Driven Business’ Business Accelerator Programme.
Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Hon Elias Mubanga launched the programme in the presence of His Royal Highness Senior Chief Mukumbi and His Royal Highness Chief Mumena. In his official remarks during the 10X Business Accelerator launch, Hon Elias Mubanga said that the Barrick 10X Business Accelerator Programme, as a private sector local supplier initiative, had the potential to stimulate local economic growth, given the significance of the mining sector in the economy and its impact on other sub sectors. During the same event, Barrick Lumwana sustainability manager Christopher Mukala said that an investment of this nature was a way to extend the way in which the local community could benefit from Lumwana’s operations.