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Small Business Development


1999 - 2003

Funded by Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Partnered with Yukon College and Gweru Technical College

Project Goal:

To alleviate poverty among out-of-school youth and other disadvantaged persons in Zimbabwe by increasing the capacity of the technical education system to provide the knowledge, skills and support necessary for self-employment and for the development of viable small businesses.  

Project Purpose:

To increase the capacity of Gweru Technical College to: promote and support micro-enterprise and small business development in Gweru and Midlands Province of Zimbabwe, and to train technical teachers from technical colleges and vocational training centres throughout Zimbabwe to develop needs-based curriculum and to impart entrepreneurial skills to their students.   


In partnership with the Gweru Polytechnic Institute, the project trained trainers in small business development skills at technical colleges and training centers throughout Zimbabwe. The project established a Learning Resources Production Unit to develop and produce needs-based training modules and learning materials; a Small Business Development Unit to support new micro-enterprises and small business start-ups by the Gweru students; and a new Vocational Training Center in Gweru.  

Project Results: 

The project’s reach extended to over 1000 individuals over its 4 year duration.  Over 100 individuals received training overseas, and 11 received training in Canada.  In addition over 150 students participated in the project both in Canada and in Zimbabwe.   Community awareness activities reached 800 individuals in Canada.

Student Participation:

Students from the Humber International Project Management post graduate program completed internships ranging from 8 weeks to 6 months in duration based in Gweru, Zimbabwe with the Small Business Development Project and the Gweru Business Support Centre.  

Responsibilities included facilitating workshops, coordinating and marketing short training programs, and exchanging skills and knowledge in project planning, and social marketing.