You may be familiar with the TV show Dragon’s Den. This is a show where entrepreneurs do a 3-minute pitch about their startups or businesses. They do this in front of multimillionaire entrepreneurs. These judges then get to either turn down the pitches or decide to invest in deserving ones. It started back in 2005 (still ongoing) and you can check out some of the episodes on the BBC YouTube channel. Then there is Shark Tank which also follows the same approach – you can check it out on the ABC YouTube channel. I am pleased to let you know that we now have our very own Zimbabwean version of such.
An Overview Of The Vision
This is an initiative dubbed Eagle’s Nest Youth Export Incubator Programme. It is powered by ZimTrade. (ZimTrade, the national trade development and promotion organization, is the unique joint venture partnership between the Private Sector and the Government of Zimbabwe. It was established in 1991. It aims to energize Zimbabwe’s export growth). This initiative is meant to nurture youth-led small Zimbabwean startups or businesses into export-ready enterprises. So they have put together a television show which showcases highlights of the initiative.
Eagle’s Nest Youth Export Incubator Show
The judges’ panel will be comprised of 3 successful Zimbabwean entrepreneurs. The judges will not be always the same for every episode though.
The first episode featured George Munengwa, Lesley Marange, and Jackie Hussein as the judges.
Jackie Hussein is the founder and owner of July 28 – a Management Consultancy firm with over 100 clients. It was interesting to see George Munengwa and Lesley Marange because I have profiled them before.
Lesley Marange is the founder and owner of Glytime Foods – a health foods startup. George Munengwa is the founder and owner of ProAir Zimbabwe – a company specializing in air conditioning, refrigeration, and ventilation.
The episode featured Lienne Shonhiwa of Manetain Organics, Bright Nezomba of Nezox Brands and Eleanor Tsunga of Ella Apparel as contestants.
The second episode featured Gerald Zhou, Thubelihle Ndlovu, and Thamsanqa Siwela as the judges. Gerald Zhou is the founder and owner of Inclusive Financial Services. Thubelihle Ndlovu is the founder and owner of Portify Investments. Thamsanqa Siwela is a partner at PNA Chartered Accountants. They also adjudicated the fourth episode.
Why You Must Watch The Show – My Take
The Purpose ⸱ The Design ⸱ The Faces
I am a huge proponent of such a much-needed initiative in Zimbabwe. The show is well-put-together and serves an imperative purpose. The set is so aesthetic, the camera angles are strategic, and the sound is great. I took some time talking about the judges for a reason. I wanted to use them as validation for how authentic and sincere the show is. All the judges are Zimbabweans with proven track records and deserve to sit on that panel.
The Learning Experience
Primarily this show provides personalized mentorship to the participants (i.e. contestants). The show is just one of the elements of a comprehensive ecosystem. Thus the participants are exposed to a great deal of high-quality information, guidance, and refinement. However, by tuning in to every episode, the viewers also benefit immensely. There is a fine mix of different personalities, with different knowledge, expertise, and unique circumstances. This spans from the judges to the contestants themselves. As every contestant pitches and answers questions directed to them, there are lots to learn. You get to appreciate how pitches are done – something every business person or entrepreneur must acquaint themselves with.
Every contestant comes with a unique startup or business idea. That is bound to inspire you in so many ways. You get to see how young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs are coming up with enterprising ideas. You get to have a feel of their thought processes. You also get to see already successful entrepreneurs (i.e. the judges) interacting with these contestants. The whole experience is inspiring and might end up nudging you to step out and do something.
So far 4 episodes have been uploaded on their YouTube channel. You can check them out here. If you have any feedback or questions you would like to communicate regarding the shows you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a show I highly recommend every entrepreneur or businessperson in Zimbabwe to watch. There are invaluable insights to draw from every episode. The next big frontier for Zimbabwe’s economic development is through exports. Remember, for all your export-related information, ZimTrade is your plug. Kindly get in touch with them.