The Zambia Green Jobs Programme has identified MSMEs as the final beneficiaries of all its interventions, from the raising of awareness and policy development to business development services. To ensure maximum impact and efficiency, the business development component of the Zambia Green Jobs Programme has identified the following key areas of intervention:
- Development of green business development tools in building construction: In collaboration with the programme’s stakeholders the Start and Improve Your Green Construction Business (SIYGCB) training programme has been developed. The SIYGCB training package targets emerging and established entrepreneurs to develop an environmentally sustainable construction business. It is based on the Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) training package, a management-training programme which focuses on the start up and improvement of small businesses as a means to create more and better employment in developing economies and economies in transition.
- Promoting a culture of entrepreneurship in green building construction and best practices in green construction: Although Zambians are positively disposed towards entrepreneurial activities, the programme promotes the concept and stimulates the uptake of green entrepreneurship through various activities. One of the main activities in this area is the launch of a Green Business Plan Competition which will provide a platform for start-up entrepreneurs to develop and receive support for potentially successful business plans.
- Skills development for green building construction: Skills in green building construction do not necessarily require high levels of re-skilling. Like in many other sectors, greening of skills can be done fairly easy through targeted training sessions. Amongst others, MSMEs will be offered skills development in areas such as solar panel manufacturing and green materials and technologies through established training institutions.
- Development of artisan and architectural skills for better green building practices and principles in design and construction: In collaboration with national learning institutions, a Centre of Excellence in Green Construction and Design will be established for the benefit of the industry. The centre will provide research, scholarly and industrial programmes in green construction for strategic resource development towards the economic and social development of Zambia. The construction industry will benefit from the centre’s variety of skills and expertise and the quality of training. The centre will further facilitate access to technical expertise, services and facilities as well as cross-pollination of technical knowledge that will enhance quality and sustainability in Zambia’s construction industry. This will be achieved by incorporating aspects of green construction in the learning curriculum; conducting training of construction industry instructors in green building principles; conducting in-service training on green construction; conducting exposure visits for students to green construction sites; arranging competitions among students on green construction; and providing technical expertise in the design of in-service training on green construction, among others.
These supporting mechanisms and capacity building services are rendered through strategically placed institutions with a specific mandate to support small-scale entrepreneurs in the building construction sector, amongst others the National Council for Construction (NCC), Thornpark Construction Training Centre, the National Association of Medium and Small Scale Contractors (NAMSCC) and the Zambia Association of Women in Construction (ZAWIC).