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Bata lines up projects
Lovemore Zigara - Chronicle Online

Bata lines up empowerment projects

THE country’s biggest shoe manufacturer, Bata Shoe Company, has unveiled plans to finance women projects in a move meant to empower rural women.
Bata managing director, Ronjoy Sengputa, said the company was still working on ways of how best to implement the project.
“Bata has big plans for the community this year and one of them is to micro finance women projects in rural areas. This is whereby we are going to be giving them say 30 pairs of tennis shoes for them to go and sell in their communities as a means of empowering them,” he said.

“We are still working out on how best we can implement the project and once that is in place we will announce the programme to the public.”
As part of its corporate social responsibility activities, the company has set aside $850,000 for the construction of a high school in Gweru.

Bata already runs a primary school which is operating using its trade name at its plant in the Midlands capital. Sengputa said the project is set to start in the next two months and is expected to be commissioned before the end of the year.

“We have a lot of empowerment initiatives which we would want to roll out. We have been given a directive by (Thomas) Bata himself to set aside $850,000 for the construction of Bata High School. This is our 75th year and we only have Bata Primary School. The Bata family feels obliged to build another school,” he said.

“We will soon start the construction of the school and we hope that in November or December Mr Bata and his family will be coming to Zimbabwe to officially commission the school.” The Bata boss said the company had many projects in the pipeline that were meant to empower local communities.

He said his company had already empowered local businesses through the setting up of Associated Business Units (ABUs) where local businesspeople are subcontracted by the company to produce tennis shoes.

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