The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is collaborating with GetBucks Microfinance Bank Limited (Getbucks) to operationalise the Zimbabwe Emerging Enterprise Market (ZEEM).
A memorandum of understanding between the two has already been signed for the implementation of the project which should see emerging small to medium enterprises (SMEs) access the stock market.
This forms part of initiatives to expand the capital markets with more products and services as well as attract more investors to the local bourse. ZSE chief executive officer Justin Bgoni indicated that ZEEM products will be offered through an over-the-counter platform targeted at initially offering working capital solutions for formalized businesses, including Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
"Over time, the ZSE will facilitate and assist small to medium size enterprises to list on the secondary bourse through training, workshops and other initiatives to educate SMEs on benefits of listing and meeting the requirements," said Mr Bgoni in a statement. GetBucks will play a critical role in terms of support," he said.
According to Mr Bgoni, the local bourse and the microfinance bank are also working towards establishing a receivables exchange, a precursor to the ZEEM project.
Said Mr Bgoni: "This collaboration reinforces ZSE's drive to foster the growth of the capital markets in Zimbabwe and resonates with our vision of facilitating economic development in Zimbabwe and Africa.
The ZSE is looking forward to a fruitful partnership with GetBucks in ensuring the growth of SMEs under ZEEM."
The local bourse has of late been working on various projects to broaden and demystify capital markets, which for long have been regarded elitist with small retail investors shying away.
The ZSE currently has limited products on offer for investors, but indications are that the market is working on establishing new products and services such as commodities exchange, real estate investment trusts and exchange traded funds.
Earlier this year, the ZSE also held a workshop to lure companies in the energy sector onto the stock market, as part of initiatives to help them raise capital for development of the energy sector, at a time Zimbabwe is facing dire energy shortages.
This came on the realization that it was imperative to open capital markets for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to enable them to raise capital, through the ZSE, to operationalise their power projects and help alleviate the obtaining energy challenges.
Additionally, the local bourse is also engaging critical stakeholders in the development of a Green and Social Bond framework as it continues to broaden capital market offerings.