In a recent report, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe gave some alarming figures about the prospects of startups in Zimbabwe. The truth is those shocking survival rates are not unique to startups in Zimbabwe. Two young female entrepreneurs recently started DreamHub and as you will see in a moment it is more than your regular co-working and collaborating space as we have become accustomed to. I managed to catch up with one of the founders and posed a few questions to her to shed a little more light on what Dream Hub is and why we should be excited about it.
When did you start DreamHub and Why?
DreamHub opened its doors on September 7, 2019. DreamHub is an idea that was in work-in-progress from 2017. It came about from the realization during a conversation with Robin Chaibva that we had both a mutual need for affordable rental space for our products as we are both entrepreneurs ourselves. We then realized that this wasn’t a need unique to just us two, it was an actual need for a great number of entrepreneurs out there.
Tell us a little about the staff of Dreamhub?
DreamHub currently has two full-time employees, Linda K Sibs (Lead Dreamer) and Robin Chaibva (Co-Dreamer) and general hand who works part-time. We are still growing and our intake of entrepreneurs is still ongoing, as we are determined to create a healthy hub eco-system. Currently, we have eight brands in the hub in our first month. We are constantly reaching out to amazing brands within our networks of entrepreneurs to house their brands at this central spot with a great location.
How does one go about getting hosted/working at DreamHub?
You may contact our various social media platforms, email us or call us to either book a meeting or simply request more information and we will send you through our Terms and Conditions.
DreamHub goes beyond the ordinary hub as we know it, why did you think such an idea is what the market needs?
DreamHub is a space that caters for the inbetweener entrepreneur – the one that has outgrown selling from the boot of their car but still can’t afford to open up their own shop space. We have a lot of those in the SME sector in need of such an affordable service in Zimbabwe. DreamHub also provides essential business skills training, private small business consultations and various growth support services.
There are many other platforms somewhat like yours why does DreamHub stand out?
Dream Hub has a unique advantage in that we are positioned to benefit the entrepreneur than exploit them. DreamHub stands out because we are a hub that is run by actual entrepreneurs who understand intimately the struggles that small business goes through on a daily in Zimbabwe. We are simply a hub that is not divorced from the market they serve. Based on that fact we do not charge those housed at the DreamHub any commission for their products sold. We know other spaces on top of the space fee to house one’s product they would demand a commission which would suffocate the growth of entrepreneurs. We simply expect our mere token of shelf space fee monthly. We are also a hub that is determined to assist entrepreneurs in scaling and moving out of the DreamHub to create space for the next entrepreneurs.
Challenges you’ve faced and face in getting DreamHub running thus far?
Zimbabwe is a challenge to operate in, but like every venture, there is no instant gain in a month operating. We are a self-funded profit-making hub so we had to take sizeable resources and time from our individual businesses and pour into DreamHub. This is not an easy task but when you believe in something you must, by all means, make it a reality or in our case turn a dream into a business. It also helps that we have had to learn to be frugal in getting things up to par.
Any words you would like me to add for others who aspire to be like you.
Don’t aspire to be like anyone. Be yourself always and live your best imperfect life. However, if you are determined to be like us at the DreamHub you need two things CRAZY and IMAGINATION! Just believe that one day it will happen if you meditate on it, pray about it and trust the process.
What is the ultimate vision/plan for Dreamhub?
Short to Medium term we plan on expanding into other smaller towns of Zimbabwean leveraging off our corporate partners. Long-term we plan on expanding into the Sub-Saharan region.
Both the founders are entrepreneurs with other ventures under their belts, how much has your vision for DreamHub been informed by your experiences in previous ventures?
DreamHub was founded on that experience from our various ventures, it is anchored on practical principles of running business in Zimbabwe with its constant shifting tiles. We have applied theoretical principles in business and sometimes they will work but Zimbabwe is peculiar in that most times theory doesn’t work. As Linda K Sibs often says, “Entrepreneurship is not taught it is experienced”
We believe given the current economic situation the sharing economy will find greater popularity in Zim. You offer Businesses an opportunity to take advantage of this. Do you envision growing to other cities/towns?
Yes, that is one of the short to medium-term goals as the DreamHub to expand into other smaller cities/towns across Zimbabwe. Keep watching this space. We plan on taking this to the world!