Why we focus on Entrepreneurship
- Promoting entrepreneurship is a key component of our strategy for meeting our Mission Goal of promoting economic prosperity in Zimbabwe.
- Entrepreneurship is all the rage among Zimbabwean youth. Even the government is getting on the bandwagon (Universities offer mandatory Entrepreneurship courses, Ministries are trying to host competitions, National Youth Council is trying to get a piece of the pie)
- 60% of job growth in the U.S. today is attributed to start ups. Yet 70% of Start Ups fail in America – which means that the 30% that are succeeding are creating 60% of all job growth! All of this goes beyond exchanges and we want to focus our efforts on work here on the ground, in order to:
- Be known in the ecosystem
- Provide U.S. expertise
- Generate discussions
The USG should be participating in all of the hubs’ events, competitions, discussions, etc. We intend to maintain our visibility as part of the eco-system and keep our own knowledge up to date. We will highlight all of this activity on our social media platforms and we want entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe to feel like the U.S. supports and are involved in their overall development.
Share U.S. expertise
In 2015 we had a total of 9 IIP speakers/experts in business and entrepreneurship come to Zimbabwe, most of them entrepreneurs in the U.S. These visits were hugely successful and we will look to do at least 1 in 2016 as IIP-funding permits. We will also look to promote YALI Network courses for Business and Entrepreneurs (tied to visiting speakers if possible).
Host & Generate discussions
Anyone visiting from US Business sector (or related) should meet with Zim entrepreneurs for 2-way exchange roundtable discussions. We’d like to get the fashion industry together at the same table to discuss ways to collaborate and move their industry forward (creating jobs). We intend to continue to engage the “support” community for entrepreneurs (aka hubs) by getting them around the same table whenever possible and using ad hoc Rep events to keep momentum up.
- Moto Republik
- Udugu Institute
- Global Entrepreneurship Summit
- Moto Republik
Their work aims to strengthen the value chain process in the creative industries such as the music, fashion, events management, crafts and visual arts as well as education in the arts. Moto Republik provides valuable working spaces and venues for the arts industry and they are creating the first Green Studio in Zimbabwe, post production studio, co-working spaces for artists.
- Udugu Institute in 2015
Founded by Dr. Nginya Mungai Lenneiye, A close advisor/consultant to the Embassy’s front office (former Country Director for Zimbawbe at the World bank)
We already have 2 specific projects with them:
- Innovation Baraza 2015 was wildly successful: Hundreds of applicants, over 2,500 people in attendance, record-setting event coverage on twitter (twitter reach of over 900,000). We continue to benefit from having sponsored it. This project has culminated into an increase in startup and small Business development. The Innovation Baraza has built up to the Simba Savannah program. This is an edited-for-television product whose first season ended filming in September with a weekly audience of over 1.2 million viewers. We have used USG social media platforms to publicize Simba Savannah in order to attract more local corporate and other partners to get involved in strengthening the startup ecosystem in Zimbabwe.
- Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. Last year we implemented a 6-month Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp along with our embassies in Namibia and Zambia. Each month, for 6 months, a different U.S. expert was flown in for a 1-2 day workshop working on a specific element of the business development process – culminating in seed funding awards. 2016 saw us launching the second phase of the program working once again with Embassy Lusaka and incorporating lessons learned.
- The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES)
As post we have supported innovative entrepreneurs and business leaders, enabling them to attend the GES 2015 in Nairobi Kenya. We have also done the same for the GES 2016 Summit in Silicon Valley. This has helped in opening up networks for the Entrepreneurs and has helped in making the investor world in the US better understand the Zimbabwean Startup Ecosystem.