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Access to market is just one of the burning challenges of businesswomen’s associations in addressing the situation that women-owned businesses often find themselves in – small and micro with very little potential to grow. Linked to this are associated factors such as access to information, finance and skills.

In 2016 the Graça Machel Trust (GMT) piloted a regional entrepreneurship development programme. The Zambia Federation of Associations of Women in Business (ZFAWIB) chose to build on existing cluster work in the construction, agriculture and textile sectors. These sectors were deliberately picked based on existing market opportunities as follows.  In the agricultural sector, opportunities were identified through the cassava farming through the provision of cassava starch to mining companies and cassava flour to the paper packaging industry.