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Empowering Livingstone's SMEs with digital tools & training. Collaboration between ITC & Absa Bank Zambia drives ecommerce excellence. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Small enterprises in Livingstone, renowned as the nation's premier tourism hotspot, are set to leverage the ITC ecomConnect Learning Programme's array of digital tools and training, thanks to a collaborative effort between the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Absa Bank Zambia Plc 

This initiative, launched on March 14th, marks a significant stride in fostering economic growth and empowering local entrepreneurs, as emphasised by Livingstone mayor Constance Muleabai.

"Our city is also home to a vibrant community of small and medium enterprises striving to succeed in an increasingly digital world. Today we take a bold step forward in supporting these businesses on their journey towards ecommerce excellence," remarked Muleabai.

The newly established hub will provide complimentary access to a comprehensive blend of online and offline resources, including:

1) A specialised e-learning platform featuring self-paced training tailored to the specific needs of Zambia.
2) Online assistance, enabling entrepreneurs to seek firsthand guidance and feedback from industry experts.
3) E-commerce focus groups, technical workshops, and webinars designed to disseminate knowledge on various e-commerce aspects.
4) Free access to e-learning materials and ITC's suite of e-commerce tools.

Furthermore, through ITC's collaborations with both local and international marketplaces such as eBay and Novica, as well as logistics and payment service providers like DHL and Payoneer, participants will gain access to additional capacity building, technical support, and preferential rates.

"The focus we have in this hub is really to drive business enablement, business linkages, and linkages to finance for small and medium enterprises," said Owen Malambo, director of digital and technology at Absa Bank Zambia. "This would include startups, and any businesses already existing."

The new programme in Zambia forms part of ITC’s Digital Moonshot, a cross-cutting effort to make sure that small businesses in developing countries can reap the benefits of the digital economy.

"Our ultimate goal is for these hubs to become self-sufficient and diversify their income streams," said Daniel Chileshe, ITC’s Digital Moonshot lead in Zambia. ‘Following this event, we will be launching a call for applications for businesses to participate in a five-month e-commerce programme."

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