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Old Mutual’s centre to jumpstart informal sector

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed financial services group, Old Mutual, says its $21,4 million state-of-the-art small to medium enterprises (SMEs) Eastgate Market in Harare would be opened next month.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Speaking during the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce annual congress held in Victoria Falls last week, an Old Mutual official said the centre would be up and running next month to provide players in the informal sector with decent retailing outlets.

“As you may know Cabs is part of Old Mutual. Cabs will continue to help business by offering financial solutions from banking to access financing. In line with the government’s drive on financial inclusion, Old Mutual recently opened a new arm called Old Mutual Finance,” the official said.

“Old Mutual Finance offers finance to the businesses from grassroots level. We will also, I think in August, be opening Eastgate Market. You will hear it in the paper very soon. Eastgate Market is directly opposite Eastgate Mall. This Eastgate Market will accommodate small to medium enterprises.’”

The complex, which sits on 11 823 m² of prime retail land, is touted to be the biggest one-stop shop market housing small-to-medium enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa.

The SMEs centre will cater for about 500 stalls for SMEs and accommodation facilities for traders coming outside Harare, supermarkets and vehicle parking space. It will also have about

2 000 m² of refrigeration facilities for fresh produce coming from areas outside Harare such as Murewa, Mutoko and Bindura.

The one-stop-shop complex is being developed diagonally opposite the Eastgate Shopping Mall and will boast 11 823 m² of prime retail space configured to accommodate a diverse range of SMEs business model under one roof.

It will be the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and Sub Sahara Africa. The estimated total cost of the Eastgate Market is $21,4 million.

The multinational company, with vast investment interests ranging from banking, micro-insurance, asset management to retail also intends to construct solar power plants in the country.

source: newsday

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