Zimbabwe is not short of talented and enterprising young people. We may not be the best in the world but we are getting there. If a more conducive and supportive environment is availed, we can do even better. This is not an excuse. However, certain limitations exist in our economy which is a topic for another day. In this article, we touch on young people who have managed to open million-dollar businesses.
Herbert Knight Ganje
The story of Herbert Ganje is very inspiring. He dropped out of school in form one and went to live in Botswana with a friend. While staying in a tuck shop, he got his first client, Shoprite. This was to be the start of H & G Advertising, a multimillion-dollar advertising agency. Currently, the company operates in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Uganda, Malawi, and Eswatini. It boasts of reputable clients like Coca Cola, Emirates, Unilever, Samsung, and others. In addition, H & G Advertising employs more than 80 permanent employees and 600 temporary staff. Its turnover is about US$38 million a year. Ganje has now opened several other companies namely, H & G OutDoor, H & G Activations, H & G Express, and Zonke Ignition. He was named on the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs list and the 30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs in 2017.
Simba is the founder and Managing Director of Oxygen Energy, an independent power producer, and renewable energy development company. His company received a US$965 000 grant from the African Development Bank to prepare a business case for the development of a 20MW off-grid solar rooftop project on Old Mutual buildings. The project will cost about US$28 million on completion. Because of his exploits, Simba and his company have won several accolades which include the Africa Innovation Top 50 Innovations in Africa (2018), Africa’s 200 Economic Leaders of Tomorrow (2018) and the Forbes Africa 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs (2016 and 2018). More recently, he was selected for the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Programme, a prestigious achievement in its own right.
28-year-old Samuelle is the co-founder of Chengetedzai Depository Company and the Auro Group. Chengetedzai is Zimbabwe’s first central securities depository for the capital markets. A depository is a provider of facilities for holding and/or transacting securities. The company’s securities deposits peaked at over $7 billion and trade settlements were in excess of $2 billion in 2017 resulting in revenues of $1.5 million for the company. Dimairho’s other company, Auro Group is a management consulting, technology and business process outsourcing firm which is expected to add to the growth of his fortunes. He also made it into the 2018 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list.
Gilbert Eugene Peters
Gilbert started from humble beginnings. He was into the buying and selling of satellite dishes in Harare before he even turned 19. As his business grew, he employed two people and together they installed over 2 000 satellite dishes. He then registered Spidex Media at 21, with only $300. His girlfriend, now his wife, provided her $160 salary to pay rentals at their first offices. That investment has now grown to present day Spidex Media, with offices in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Zambia. Spidex Media focusses on creative design and art direction, content development, web design and the like. It has a majority market share in Zimbabwe, handling brand portfolios worth over $870 million. From 2 people, the company now employs more than 55 people with clients like the World Food Programme (WFP), Zimra, FBC Holdings, ZB Bank and others. Herbert has won several business awards. He was on the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list in 2018. Also, he is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers.
It’s certain young Zimbabweans are doing well business wise. More can be done, however. With the right support and direction, the country’s youths can reach greater heights. Improvement in access to start-up capital is one such support tool.