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By Tanya Mtema

“You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end,” Jessica Henry, founder and CEO of Stella & Dot once encouraged.  Zimbabwe is one of the continental developing countries crying for innovation and entrepreneurship is currently the gateway to a sustainable livelihood. The Entrepreneurial magazine (November 2020 publication) provides quality content you can just not afford to miss. Taking you through the entrepreneurial bumpy ride,  EntreVision Media  combined valuable content meant to help not only SME’s,  but to strategically equip aspiring Zimbabwean entrepreneurs  with strategic talent development and professional development. 

I was really impressed at how the magazine takes us back to the miserable and catastrophic economic turmoil between 2006-2008. Through a depressing tone the writers sound well informed to have personally experienced the depression which feels greatly relatable to the reader. The economic crunch led to the sky rocketing inflation rates leading to citizens ending up as “starving billionaires.” Today we have the Corona virus impending and redefining our future. The global pandemic has clearly affected business  and disrupted the powerful economies. But guess what? This magazine reveals the concept of “how challenges are opportunities in disguise”. Referencing the bigger companies that have been making it today like Impala car rentals and Nash Paints they were able to push through the economic storm to start up their businesses in a middlebrow economy. Balancing the social demographics, contemporary markets which do not have more than 10 years of operating have their business included in the magazines literature. There is also a gender balance of the interviewed entrepreneurs thus making it a safe space for all. After a very good situational survey, there is a balance on age gaps with the main focus centering on young people below 40years of age thus recognizing businesses led by youths. To list only a few, Ennie Somerai, aged 24, Terrence Mugova, co-founder of an education company and Giftyze an online business are all ordinary people who just recognized an opportunity in the middle of a crisis.

Common survival strategies that have been identified by the magazine are perseverance, fall-back plans replacing the contingent plan and donor support. It hasn’t been easy for entrepreneurs and  some of the similar challenges include;

High costs of starting up accompanied by procurements

Unfriendly operating environment

Brand acceptance due to internal competition.

Relating to youth unemployment is the reflection of how the Agri-business can be a solution only if done correctly. An alignment for a successful agri-business requires the basic skills inclusive of operational, interpersonal, value chain knowledge, time management, technical, marketing and  record keeping skills. Agriculture is listed as one of the economic boosters for sustainable livelihoods in Zimbabwe. After the pandemic, majority of Zimbabwean companies have struggled to get back on track after the huge loses. It is really inspiring how the magazine talks about innovation being the creative way to fill the gaps and reduce the rates of exporting products thereby reconsidering manufacturing and resurging our industrial market.  Battery market, jewelry making, toy manufacturing and reliable energies are considered as starting points for ensuring a sustainable economy.

In a nutshell, it’s amazing how the magazine has received an incredibly positive response in the month of October with an overwhelming support of 3 157 web viewers.  Its reflection of the social ills within the country and the unwavering  opportunities that the magazine has reviewed there is an opportunity to start innovating even in a crisis situation. Becoming an entrepreneur is a journey that can be inborn or learnt.

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