Zambian miner 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 launched the 10X Business Accelerator Programme to build business capacity for local contractors in Barrick’s mining supply chain.
The programme will be implemented by WEAC to build local contractor capacity and to support contractors 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 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to better position themselves for sustainable growth, including the capacity to bid for, and service, larger supply tenders, the company said.
Barrick Lumwana sustainability manager Christopher Mukala said that an investment of this nature was a way to extend the manner in which the local community could benefit from Lumwana’s operations.
The first 15 companies have been selected to participate in the ‘Mentor Driven Business’ Business Accelerator Programme. Rigorous selection criteria were used and informed by the findings from a baseline survey and an Extreme Build a Business Workshop assessment, the company said.
Zambia Minister of SME Development Elias Mubanga launched the programme on August 19 and 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 subsectors.