The Zimbabwe’s economy shows no signs of revival as 72,3% of the people still live under the poverty datum line according to the index mundi. Lines on the banks are now an order of the day and even the mobile money agencies can no longer support the Zimbabwean population with the most needed cash. Universities continue churning out graduates that add to the number of vendors already flooded in the street. Such is the economy in which the nation finds itself today.
In such an economy ranked 161 out of 190 economies on easy of doing business according to the Trading Economics, two Zimbabweans have managed to be listed by Forbes among 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in Africa. The two entrepreneurs Knight Ganje (29) and Shaleen Manhire Nullens (29) can be regarded as heroes who have made it considering that most of their counterparts have not achieved to become the entrepreneurs. Last year the country had one person, Nkosana Mazibisa(27) on the Forbes list. There might be a rise in the numbers of those representing us, but is it the best we can do?
Vusi Tembekwayo, rated as one of the top public speakers and young busines people in South Africa recently jetted into the country. He however found himself in the midst of controversy after posting a video on social media claiming that, the vendors on the street are ‘thriving’ entrepreneurs! However this business model is for self sustainability and most of them cannot grow and can never compete globally. Some colleges have included entrepreneurship as part of the courses done by their students but this has not stopped the influx of people in businesses that do not grow.
Under such circumstances can one say that Zimbabwe is doing a lot in generating entrepreneurs?
It is hard to have entrepreneurs when there is no capital. Young entrepreneurs are having a problem in accessing loans in Zimbabwe. Some suggest partnership between those who have the financial capacity and those who have ideas. The suggestion could not be welcomed as some youths are tricked by large corporations who in turn steal the ideas. The government has to put policies that help the young people venture into their entrepreneurial skills.
The youths are also having limited access to state of the art equipment according to Cuthbert Mukora. Most of the youths are using poor equipment which are labour intensive and can only supply a smaller market. When one goes around Mbare, Mupedzanhamo a lot of people have small workspaces which cannot turn to become viable industries which can give employment. This makes it hard for them to produce quality and appealing products and at the end their businesses remain smaller. There is need to identify the potential in young entrepreneurs and help them grow by allowing them access to the state of the art equipment.
Access to the markets is also another problem that has pulled many out of entrepreneurs. Most of the entrepreneurs have a problem in marketing products as competition is very stiff or flooded. Almost everything is flooding the markets in Zimbabwe as most of the people venture into entrepreneurship. This makes it hard to penetrate the market. It is important for the government to help entrepreneurs open new markets for entrepreneurs even out of the country.
Information is power. Most of the entrepreneurs do not attend entrepreneurial workshops around Zimbabwe. This has deprived them of information on entrepreneurship. It is important to encourage the entrepreneurs attend the workshops and learn from them. Some of the entrepreneurs have the capacity to grow but do not have any ideas of how to grow.