The internet brought changes to the world which cannot be undone. Having information available to you wherever you are with a few clicks is truly amazing. It’s best understood by those who have lived in a world that is not set up that way for whatever reason. While getting things on the internet in Zimbabwe hasn’t quite been a roaring success it is happening. Eventually, we will reach a point where this is the norm. The reality is Zimbabwe does not have a level of internet access and penetration that necessitates a fully online state. That said, for those in business, there are some essential web-based resources that you should know and have access to.
One of the most divisive issues in the business space in Zimbabwe is taxation. As a country that is characterised by both high power distance and extreme information asymmetry, there is a lot of confusion on the simplest things. So imagine how complicated matters of taxation are. While taxation itself is complicated, the custodians of our taxation systems are not complicated people at all. ZIMRA has taken many strides to ease issues of tax for individuals and businesses. The ZIMRA website has comprehensive tax calculators and tables for income tax, customs and excise duty. You can find valuable information on these and other taxes there. What many may not know is that ZIMRA is also a very open organisation. So much so they provide contact details for all their offices. Want something easier? You can email ZIMRA with your questions and they are surprisingly responsive. Not quite what we have become used to in official circles but they are. So instead of sitting and stewing with a tax-related question go straight to the source and feel free to ask your questions there. If your experience is anything like the ones I have had you will wonder why you didn’t know about this all along.
Veritas is a brilliant resource to keep up with legal developments in the nation. In addition to keeping up with updates to acts of law that go through parliament, they also keep track of the notorious Statutory Instruments that have become the norm for the government to issue. One thing you will come to understand is that business is mostly about the law. The rules that govern how you operate are rooted in law. The law affects you whether you like it or not. While some things may be out of the scope of your industry changes to monetary policy will certainly affect how you do business. So a resource like Veritas is important to have as it can keep you up to date with developments. It is a resource dripping with more than Sis and acts. They also keep a watch on court judgements and governance-related matters. Frankly, the content on Veritas will be surplus to requirements for many people but if you sift through and focus on what is important to you, you will not regret visiting it. It’s best to go there and see what it can offer you.
This may not immediately appeal to every single business out there but if we agree that all businesses want to grow to the point of regional or international recognition then we can agree that at some point all businesses will want some of what ZimTrade offers. In 2021 ZimTrade hosted the Eaglesnest competition which sought to take young businesspeople through a boot camp of sorts that would provide both education and assistance towards growing their businesses towards exporting their products. Applications have opened for this year’s competition. The website has an abundance of information for businesses and an export readiness checker. What I love about it is the way they have acknowledged that businesses in different industries have different needs so they make sure they use different approaches for different industries. You will find Zimtrade to be competent if not a helpful web resource.
There are also business news websites which you should be aware of but I thought to keep it to resources that provide specific information and assistance that is useful to all business.