Business Opinion: BY FARAI CHIGORA
Entrepreneurship is an important part of our lives.
It has helped millions of people globally to enhance their livelihoods through setting up personal businesses.
In a way, this has eradicated poverty as people set up their own businesses and moved towards industrialisation.
This requires a holistic approach to ensure that entrepreneurship retains its pivotal role as an engine that catapults the society into obits of success and competitive existence.
This requires a multi-stakeholder approach with a holistic view beyond pronouncement of policies, but walking the talk to create enabling environmental factors, herein referred to as Policy, Ecological, Organisation, Practitioners, Leadership, Education (PEOPLE).
Broadly speaking and if there are tangible interventions, the government has supported this agenda through a general policy framework, which then requires specificity through funding and establishment of a supportive environment.
This is enunciated through the broader mantra and framework of Vision 2030 — the quests to be a middle-class economy by then.
In addition, various policies have been put in place, first the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (2018-2020) and now the National Development Strategy 1.
These alone are not adequate as there is need to move a notch towards the practise, which is a departure point from the strategic framework currently in place.
Of more significance is the setting up of entrepreneurial policies for all age groups and gender, mostly the youth and women.
Still with a common national drive and dialogue among the populace toward national development through entrepreneurship, some members of the society are yet to embrace the bandwagon in their living.
Truly entrepreneurship has come as a way to secure the future, transforming retirees from being a pensioner after retirement to business owners. Simply put, the wealth of nations can only emerge from the innovations and risks taken by the new drive in entrepreneurship, which requires a new thinking and relook from the entire chain of stakeholders in Zimbabwe.
Most of the potential entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe are yet to embrace the factors that lead them to start and run sustainable businesses. Evidently, lack of proper guidelines and structures have frustrated many to take this direction. Suffice to note that the bulk of citizens are still risk shy as there seems to be comfort in receiving a monthly cheque as an employee rather than as business owners. Of course, they are many risks associated with running a business, but these are reduced if a proper business model is put in place. Some Zimbabweans have made their success through adoption of international business model canvas. Applicability of such models is prone to failure due to environmental differences with the originator. There is need to use home-grown business models that are localised with backup support ready to solve problems at hand. It is for this specific reason that this column has been birthed, to bring new thinking, experiences and perspectives that are also aimed at interrogating the harm, failure and success of our local entrepreneurs basing on the acronym, PEOPLE.
This is a Zimbabwean grown modelling towards successful entrepreneurship that can be taken as a prescription by many start-ups and growing businesses. The model seeks to attend to the practise driven from the strategy of the broader environment as defined by the multiplicity of government policies. These range from registration to legislative housekeeping regulations throughout the business processes (detailed discussion in the next edition). Also there is need for setting up an effective supporting ecology that is one that connects to key resources in business value addition. Adaptation and influencing the government policies and setting up the proper ecology should strengthen formation of an effective organisation and that is when we mean business. Success or failure will then be based on the ability to consult and develop proper practitioners who will consolidate and spearhead the vision through application of various skills that are contemporary in supporting business growth. Excellence will then be developed and enhanced through having the right and effective leadership. As witnessed in the enshrined vision for innovation and industrialisation, education has become a continuous driver for excellence in the modern business practices. This has been embedded in the Education 5.0 that is currently transforming Zimbabwe’s education landscape and modernising start-ups and to run businesses efficiently. A detailed approach to these aforementioned pillars will be in the coming editions.
It is, therefore, inspiring to be tackling these processes through this space which I am hopeful will become a platform for the co-learning between myself as the author and the readers of this highly respected newspaper of national record. Kindly share your views and ideas as we ride on this journey of producing and consolidating indigenous knowledge on entrepreneurship and how best to enhance wealth generation and accelerate the development of our society as a people.
- Farai Chigora is a businessman and academic. He is the head of Business Science at the Africa University’s College of Business, Peace Leadership and Governance. His doctoral research focused on Destiny Marketing in Zimbabwe. He is into agrobusiness and consults for many companies in Zimbabwe and Africa. He writes here in his personal capacity and can be contacted for feedback and business at email@example.com