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Govt pledges to assist start-ups

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CLOUDINE MATOLA

 

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Local entrepreneurs  should utilise all available Government -backed funding opportunities in order to enhance and expand their enterprises, a senior Cabinet minister has said.

Speaking yesterday after touring start-ups at the Eight2Five Innovation Hub, owned by Old Mutual Zimbabwe, Skills Audit and Development Minister Professor Paul Mavima said that the government provides support to the startups through various bank programs, including the Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank and Empower Bank Zimbabwe.

According to Professor Mavima, the hub will support the industrial sector and bolster the country’s modernization agenda.

The main objective of the innovation center is to create a creative, polished, and dynamic work environment that will stimulate the creativity and productivity of startup businesses and their groups.

“There are already some programs run by the government under the Ministry of Youth. Under the Ministry of Women Affairs (Community, Small to Medium Enterprises) there is something called small to medium enterprise development cooperation which also helps with the development of businesses but also arranges for the funding of those businesses.

“There is also the Zimbabwe’s Women Microfinance Bank, which also offers funding for women and groups and those groups can also include men,” Mavima said.

Speaking at the same event, Isiah Mashinya, the chief customer and operations officer of Old Mutual Zimbabwe, stated that the company is collaborating with the nation’s universities and looking to form partnerships with them since they think tertiary institutions are home to a lot of talent.

“We actually think that innovation helps to unlock talent, bright ideas, innovation for industry and the public sector. And we actually think that because of the value of it, we are also going into it. But the idea is not just to run it on our own. We have been supporting universities in the country as well,

“So we are actually seeking partnership with the universities on the house because inevitably a lot of talent or brain power resides in the tertiary institutions,”  Mashinya said.

 

 

 

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