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De Beers Group, in partnership with United Nations (UN) Women, is pleased to announce the launch of a three-year capacity-building programme to improve the livelihoods of more than 1,200 women micro-entrepreneurs in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

The programme is designed to equip women micro-entrepreneurs with business and management skills to build their confidence and capacity to operate and grow successful small businesses. It will focus on providing training to enhance understanding of business concepts, including accessing markets, increasing market share, generating income, creating jobs, and supporting effective decision-making, communication and negotiation skills.

Tailored specifically for each country, the programme will be delivered with local implementation partners and focus on regions that have high levels of unemployment and where formal job opportunities are limited. It has been designed to ensure ongoing sustainability by building the capacity of locally-based trainers to understand the specific challenges faced by women micro-entrepreneurs, build access to peer support networks and support the programme participants on an ongoing basis to implement the skills gained. A wide variety of micro-businesses will be eligible to participate in the programme, spanning retail, hospitality, agriculture, catering, produce, manufacturing and education.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “I am delighted to launch this programme as part of De Beers Group’s commitment to stand with women and girls around the world, especially in our diamond producing countries where women play a crucial role in supporting their local communities. When you support women business owners, you support a community more broadly as women are proven to reinvest more of their income back into the community and to actively support the creation of jobs for others. Through these programmes, we hope to help equip women entrepreneurs with the skills, training and confidence to build successful and sustainable...

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