People generally become entrepreneurs for various reasons. Often time people choose the entrepreneurship route to becoming financially independent. In the quest to help or support entrepreneurs there is usually a blanket approach. The use of a one size fits all might not produce the best results. That is why in this article I want to discuss 4 types of entrepreneurs and their needs. This will help those willing to support entrepreneurs to know their respective needs. It will also help entrepreneurs to assess themselves and see what they need since they might not be aware.

Positive Dreamers

These are usually the urban, educated folk – by educated I am referring to tertiary education. Small businesses also characterise this demographic but the small businesses are usually premised on people’s individual passions or areas of interest. Unemployment is usually the push factor that leads to exploring entrepreneurship.

What Do They Need?

These folk must be taught a wide range of management disciplines e.g. financial, customer relationship, and business management. They need training in marketing (particularly digital marketing) and branding – tenets of niching are also included here. They usually need capital to grow so they must be taught the dynamics of raising capital. Thus areas such as pitching would be of interest to them. They also need access especially access to capital, material resources, and incubator platforms, amongst other things.

Upcoming Trendsetters

These are also typically urban and tertiary educated folk. They usually are actually running businesses with an average team of 3 or fewer individuals. They can even be also in the process of offering support or guidance to other aspiring entrepreneurs.

What Do They Need?

Capacity building for scaling their business is one of the core needs. They also need their marketing, sales, and management skills enhanced. Pitching skills are also relevant to them since they usually would be looking for capital to expand their operations. They also need access to accelerator programs since rapid growth would be at the top of the priority list. Given how they would be offering support to others they would need access to bigger platforms to pursue that further. Overall, they need training, capital, material resources, strategic partnerships, networking, and access to marketplaces and platforms.

Pressed Breadwinners

These are basically your peri-urban and or rural folk. There are relatively low literacy levels amongst this demographic. They typically run small businesses. In all their business or income-generating pursuits, most of their returns go towards fending for their families. This makes it very difficult for them to re-invest profits into growing their businesses.

What Do They Need?

They must be taught the basics of personal financial management. They need to be taught on developing and running efficient supply and value chains. This means they need to be taught how they can lower production and operating costs to widen their profit margins. Where applicable, they also need to be encouraged and taught on value addition to realizing more from their businesses. The fundamentals of keeping records and effectively managing inventory must also be imparted on them. Overall, they need mentorship and access to marketplaces so that their businesses scale.

Community Leaders

Then we have what we can call community leaders. These can be both urban and rural and tertiary educated. Essentially they conduct various kinds of training initiatives to equip young people with basic skills.

What Do They Need?

They need financial and material resources to better deliver their services. They need to be given access to bigger platforms so that they reach more youth. They also need visibility both online and offline so that their influence grows. They also need to be taught how best they make a positive impact whilst also making profits in the process. For the most part, these are people who establish what we call social enterprises.

These are the 4 basic types of entrepreneurs that you must bear in mind. Which type of entrepreneur are you amongst these four? Knowing these distinctions is important because it helps you know what you need and also informs prospective help providers. We need to customize support initiatives or frameworks for entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe with these dynamics in mind.