HomeOpinion & AnalysisEntrepreneurship and industrialisation in Zimbabwe (Part 4)

Entrepreneurship and industrialisation in Zimbabwe (Part 4)


In a seemingly long-haul journey towards a renewed sense and approach towards entrepreneurship anchoring industrialisation, in this instalment we dwell on the crucial setting up stage of the home-grown PEOPLE model by placing “organisation” in to all other variables of the model. This has become a term that has lost most of its stature due to familiarity, as the adage goes, familiarity breeds contempt. Yet it is at the centre of the existence of any enterprise.

This part of the PEOPLE model should be unpacked in its broad sense and efficacy as an insurer for long-lasting and rewarding enterprise. Businesses should consider this “organisation” as a constituent, an igniter of multi-sequences in their value propositions. It is premised not only on a clustering of business activities for a profit, but a systems approach and propositions are made available to their optimum, sustainable and synergetic outcomes.

This cog is a propeller for business engineering and re-engineering which constitute formulas and solutions for start-ups and growing enterprises. There is need to strike a balance between what we have and what we should not have. Yet we generally find a situation where there is limited cohesion towards the construction of a competitive enterprise. This has been a major hindrance in efforts to build capacity towards competitive entrepreneurial craft. In this regard, entrepreneurs should claim space that produces fortunes for the next generations. The opportunity cost is exorbitant in this misalignment such that many operations are wasteful. Reasons for such a state of affairs is the systematic and destructive thread of greediness, corruption, bribes, misappropriation of funds.

There is, therefore, a need for workmanship without gender discrimination as another pre-requisite of effective organisation.

Organisation is critical in this perspective as it brings not only efficiency, but diversity, share of experience and great room for innovation and creativity. All functional activities seem to be confined in a single person with the owner being the director, manager, operator and executor of all activities. Of course, in many instances this is justified by the need to curb labour costs, yet it is factual that the costs of not having balance are greater than those being circumvented. Some considerations to take home in this drive is the undisputable need for succession planning (as discussed in the last edition). If not necessarily viable to apply in the advent of new technologies, let it be through placing effective techno-structures and their implementation.

A number of graduates at all levels are finding it difficult to gain access to placements, yet we have this labour/skills inadequacy in most enterprises. It is high time we considered hiring accountants, engineers, doctors and all required skills in setting up real thriving enterprises. The government’s role is to encourage both owners and skilled graduates to think in unison towards such organisation. Not everyone can start and run their own businesses, some skilled graduates are comfortable being hired as professionals (supervisors, managers and executives) yet most existing policies are conspicuously inclined towards being your own employer, let’s also give these space as we industrialise. It is imperative to think of this “organisation” as an amalgam of different dreams rather than being myopic to the extent that everyone desires to be an entrepreneur, some are gratified by being professional supporters of visionaries.

Capitalisation is another cog of the organisation, though evidently, many start-ups and growing businesses have generalised this to imply a single dimension of managing the books. To do real enterprising there is need to think beyond balancing books into real investment through various venture explorations and taking a deep dive into blue ocean strategies, that is to say high risk and high returns type of investment mind-set. This entails the need to focus on investment decisions rather than recurrent consumption behaviour in order to sustain ethos of entrepreneurship. Regardless of the sector of operation, it has proven to be a custom to borrow in the name of doing business yet the money is then spent on extravagancy — buying flashy cars, holidaying and other self-serving activities. This is one of the reasons for failure. At the apex of an organisation are the lobbying and regulating bodies to facilitate the right mind-set through direct and indirect incubation of any aspiring entrepreneur. Instead of just capitalisation through borrowing and the consequences of misuse, let it stick in the mind of these owners that there are various sources of capitalisation. Take an in-depth scrutiny of what best suits your type of business rather than just following a certain bandwagon. Lenders are not hesitant to inject business capital, but it comes at the price of the possibility of a hostile takeover of the business as capital investors push for their interests.

Of greater significance in this organisation drive through PEOPLE and in an effort to transfigure local business ownership for industrialisation is the “entrepreneurial mind-set.” The term has been generalised to its dictionary connotations. It is the cornerstone of smart business setting up towards Vision 2030 and beyond. All the aforementioned are fragmented key components of the recipe to successful organisation and industrialisation. The ultimate make or break is entrepreneurial mind mastering. Our entrepreneurs are instead fragmenting these matters of land/capacity utilisation, capital/funding and labour/skilling as silos. The greatest achievers in the world have focused on combining these for greater shareholder value. Entrepreneurship is not only about being risk averse in starting and running one, it is that mind-set to go beyond bundling resources and align them for more profits.

Incentivising through real audits

Our enterprising efforts have  been halted by carelessness in the way incentives (whether borrowed or given) are managed. Instead of converting them into sustainable investments, they have been diverted to consumption.

Capacity modelling requirement

Capacity utilisation has been ignored as one of the challenges in developing real organisation by many start-ups. Knowing your shoe size is the very first step towards purchasing decisions. It takes all the relevant players in the public private partnerships (PPP) to develop and install matrixes that are user-friendly as a check list in capacity modelling of enterprises.

Skills/technological audit

If it can be considered as a practice surely even the coming generations will learn for industrialisation rather than substance intake and rehabilitation. There is an outcry of many being unemployed instead yet highly qualified.

Consolidated frame-working and business structuring

This can come as interventions in balancing key issues that include business type, feasible source of funding, capacity requirement and mode of execution (whether human/ technology intensive).

Capitalisation communities

A collaborative effort should be made in coming up with capitalisation communities which are more clinical to periodically thermo-check and discuss this organisation. It helps to understand the right source(s), partnerships and sustainable funding suitable to a specific area of your business.

  • Dr 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 Business Administration (Destination Marketing and Branding Major, Ukzn, SA). He can be contacted for feedback at fariechigora@gmail.com, WhatsApp mobile: +263772886871.

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