Zimbabwe: Youths Urged to Venture Into SMEs

21 January 2020

Young entrepreneur Ashlee Nyathi has urged his peers to consider venturing into small scale businesses to cushion themselves from economic challenges.

Speaking at a workshop he organised for young businessmen in Harare recently, Nyathi said most youths complain about lack of employment when they can create employment for themselves through small business ventures.

He said there are a number of banks and institutions willing to financially assist young people who have brilliant business ideas.

Nyathi runs MegProm, a kapenta business that started as a small venture and has now expanded to other countries.

"You cannot start big. You must have big dreams that drive you to grow a small idea into something big. Selling kapenta is not something that many people of my age considered. When I started it a few years ago, some actually laughed at me," said Nyathi.

"Now they come to ask for ideas because the business has grown. That is the spirit. Our economic environment is challenging and getting employment is not easy. It is time to employ ourselves and possibly employ others."

MegProm imports kapenta in bulk from Mozambique and supplies big markets in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Beitbridge. It also supplies kapenta to South Africa, Botswana and DRC.

The 23-year-old businessman organised the one-day workshop that ran under the theme "Be Your Own Boss" and was attended by other young entrepreneurs.

One of the participants at the workshop, Oliver Maporisa, who runs a vegetable business said some of the areas ignored by young people create good business opportunities.

"Some young people see selling vegetables as a trade for old ghetto ladies. That is not the case at all. When you begin supplying big supermarkets with tomatoes, carrots, onions and cabbages, you will realise how big that business is," said Maporisa.

"We cannot all be big in technology, transport or banking. You have to start from somewhere. Even those in big business have unbelievable stories of how they started small."

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