Who We Are
Promoting the participation of informal sector actors in economic, policy and legislative processes
Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) is a union of informal traders with structures throughout Zimbabwe. The organization was formed and registered as a Trust in 2015 to spearhead the social and economic transformation of street vendors by championing their quest to earn livelihoods in the current harsh economic circumstances. Furthermore, the organization was formed pursuant to the need for a solidarity centre for street vendors who continue to be victims of human rights violations.
The organization has a national membership database of over 68 000 vendors located in all major cities, towns and growth points in Zimbabwe. In November 2019, the organisation established a Chapter in Namibia as part and parcel of its regional expansion programme. Plans are at an advanced stage to set up similar Chapters in South Africa, Zambia, the Kingdom of eSwathini, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya
- To promote the participation of vendors in national economic, policy and legislative processes
- To develop and strengthen the capacity of vendors to trade profitably and transform their businesses to become entrepreneurs
- To enhance the capacity of vendors to engage solution holders on issues affecting them and participate effectively in decision making
- To coordinate and enhance the provision of social safety nets for child or juvenile vendors
- To facilitate platforms of engagement for vendors to realize their Social and Economic Rights enshrined in the constitution.
VISET’s programmatic thrust is anchored on three pillars: (1) taking action to defend, promote and expand the rights of street vendors, (2) improve the working conditions of street vendors and (3) strengthen their capacities to trade profitably and grow their businesses. The programmatic focus also encompasses the following;
- Organizing vendors into Socio-Economic Champions (SOCHAMPs) across the country.
- Building the capacities of SOCHAMPs to engage solution holders on issues affecting them and to do business profitably.
- Enhancing vendor’s access to profitable markets and capital
- Improving vendors’ access to psycho-social services.
- Creating platforms for engagement between vendors, solution holders and other relevant stakeholders.
- Conducting research on the ongoing trends in the vending fraternity to facilitate evidence based advocacy.
- Providing safety nets to vendors to cushion them from adverse consequences of human rights violations that occur in the enterprise.
— Our Mission
To coordinate in an inclusive, non-partisan and transparent manner the organization of Informal Economy players so as to build their capacity to lead as well as organize their respective constituents to engage solution holders at both macro and micro levels for economic development
— Our Vision
To see an informed and proactive Informal Economy player who is able to contribute effectively to the development of the national economy”.
— Our Story
The organization has a Board of Trustees which consists of the Board Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Treasurer, Board Secretary. The VISET Board meets at least once every quarter (3months). The Board of Trustees is composed of five members from diverse areas of specialty which include, business, law, and accounting and women’s rights. The organisation is led by the Executive Director who is responsible for providing overall strategic direction on the organisation’s strategic priorities. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees on a quarterly and adhoc basis. The Board of Trustees form the advisory team and provide oversight on strategic focus overall programmes and financial departments. VISET annual audit reports are available on request with the latest being for the year 2020.
Since its inception in 2015, VISET has worked to establish structures in project implementation areas. These structures, known as Social-Economic Champions (SOCHAMPS) are the local ambassadors for VISET, that aid information dissemination, communication and provide VISET with information on the contextual pulse of activities and processes taking place in project implementation areas. Since its formation VISET has implemented over 10 projects throughout the country with support from different partners. VISET collaborates with other informal traders groups and residents associations. The projects covered several crosscutting priority themes, including catalyzing citizen agency, advocating for public accountability and efficiency, giving voice to the voiceless and speaking truth to power, and securing rights to livelihood