UNESCO in partnership with Magamba Network has officially launched the ResiliArt Accelerator.
ResiliArt is an initiative that will see about five female creative entrepreneurs drawn from around Zimbabwe being capacitated with the necessary soft skills to run successful creative businesses through peer-to-peer exchanges and coaching sessions.
The 6-month long accelerator will be made up of 12 online mentorship sessions and 12 physical sessions with local coaches.
Each beneficiary will be matched with a woman business owner in the same creative field, with a proven track record of successfully developing a creative business in the region.
Speaking at the launch, UNESCO regional director for Southern Africa Lidia Arthur Brito said ‘’this is the first project of its kind by UNESCO, and we are excited that it is being piloted in Zimbabwe,’’ she said.
The launch which was done on the side-lines of the monthly Hustlers Market at Moto Republik was also attended by the Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Satoshi Tanaka.
Speaking at the launch, Ambassador Tanaka said he was delighted that Zimbabwe was selected for the project.
‘’I am delighted to join you all for the launch of the ResiliArt Accelerator, a project that is funded by Japan through UNESCO. And out of all the countries in the world Zimbabwe has been selected for this pilot project.
‘’Power of artists and creative professionals cannot be overstated. You inspire us in our search for the signs of strength, beauty, and wisdom in our world, you bridge our differences and bring people together and you are the change agent who change society for the better.
‘’The goal of this project is to make this sector bounce back and become more profitable and resilient,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, mentors for the programs will be drawn from Africa and based in Africa, excluding Zimbabwe to promote inter-African nation knowledge exchange and networking. Their real-life experiences serve not only to inspire but to provoke critical thinking about the beneficiaries’ current business practices.
The in-person coaching sessions cover practical topics, such as pitch, marketing, communication, fundraising, intellectual property, and financial planning.
According to the program, local coaching will be done by five successful businesswomen in Zimbabwe from Zimbabwe. The project also has an outreach component which will take place after the completion of the 6-month module.
This will serve as an opportunity for the women to share their work with local educational institutions and thus inspiring young girls to pursue a career in the creative industry.