Youth Invest in partnership with She Runs It hosted a Business Networking Breakfast Meeting for youth and women-led businesses and those aspiring to be in business. The meeting was characterized by presentations from the hosts and guest speakers, discussions on various entrepreneurship topics and networking. In attendance were thirty four (34) people from different business sectors namely Lodumo Guest House, Deloitte and Touche, Jardin Erdine, Chelsea Cakes and other poultry farming, panel beating, hairdressing and clothing MSMEs.
About She Runs It
SHE RUNS IT is a business networking platform for women in business and those aspiring to be in business. Its main objective is to encourage women to come together and assist one another in identifying the challenges in the business environment and developing practical and strategic solutions to those challenges as a team. YI thus partnered with She Runs It in order to raise the profile of youth businesses.
Guest Speakers’ Presentations
There were two Guest Speakers namely Mr Cedric Masuku and Mrs Eunice Dlamini.
Masuku, a Civil Engineer by training is a Civil Design Engineer with the City of Bulawayo. He is also Founder of Team29 Entrepreneurs, a company whose core business is supplying advanced positioning equipment, geo-spatial technologies consultancy, signage and road marking services. Masuku is also serving as the Youth Invest Board Vice Chairperson.
Dlamini, is the Director of M & M Joyous Events. She started off her business as a hobby but has since evolved to be a leading business woman and a force to be reckoned with in events management. Dlamini is a nurse by training and has a Masters’ in Business Administration from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).
The Start-up Journey – thriving in the current economic environment
Masuku advised the meeting attendants into trading to register with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe. Further details on registration can be found on their website: http://www.praz.gov.zw/index.php?lang=en. Masuku highlighted that the benefits of being registered with the Authority cannot be overemphasized as the company becomes included in the Government Gazette which is shared nationwide. He also encouraged the audience to start working with the little they have rather than going around seeking financial support as it is easier to support someone who has already started.
Power of networking for women and youth-led businesses
Mrs Eunice Dlamini started her speech with a moving background on how she evolved from being a vegetable vendor to being a leading business woman in Zimbabwe for 10 years. She implored the attendants to join and be part of different networks such as the Marketing Association of Zimbabwe. She spoke about the importance and benefits of networking, from how people should follow up on each other after having met and done business together and how referrals can bring your business. Dlamini encouraged the attendants to love and support each another and desist from jealousy as it is retrogressive. Dlamini also encouraged women to put in the hard work and determination.
After the Guest Speakers’ presentations, there was a discussion and below are some of the questions which were asked and their responses:
Masuku responded by saying the best way of coming up with an idea is to identity a problem and/ or need for your solution. To be competitive, Masuku said one has ask themselves, how people are people operating without your business idea?
Dlamini encouraged the attendants not to shun working for someone as it was necessary to gain skills which would be important when one is running their initiative. Masuku encouraged the attendants to undergo training courses which are offered online by USAID and Ashoka. These would especially help in the ideation and implementation processes.
One of the attendants responded by saying, the best way to start is figuring out what one loves or is passionate about and pursue that.
One of the attendants responded by saying it would be prudent to register one company and get different trading certificates.
To round off the meeting, one of the attendees implored the audience to speak with passion when introducing themselves as one will be selling themselves when speaking.