Young entrepreneurs are our future

Youth are recognized all over the world as an important human resource with the potential to contribute significantly to national development and, therefore, should be recognized and involved in national development plans by the government and other stakeholders.

For the avoidance of doubt, according to the African Youth Charter, a youth is defined as a male or female person between the ages of 15 and 35 years. In Zimbabwe, about 60% of our population is young people.

In order to harness their skills, energy, ambitions and aspirations, it is crucial that a new policy framework is developed and led by young people themselves. Such a policy framework must consider how we can deliberately create an environment across all sectors of our economy that provides broad access to new opportunities and new possibilities for our young people.

Any sustainable youth policy must focus on youth economic empowerment through job creation and entrepreneurship development and training and skills development. In other words, we must create socio-economic and environmental policies that give our young people access to the resources to enable them to function at their full potential in this lifetime.

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However, there is no doubt that despite the tough conditions, there are many young people who are breaking through and excelling. I had the honor of meeting one Leslie Marange (33 years old), a young, principled and focused individual who has built an exciting brand (Glytime Foods) over the past four years. This is his story.

After graduating from Qinhui University of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in food science and technology and an MBA in strategic management from NUST, Marange worked for a local manufacturing company as a process manager and product development manager. His experience in the corporate sector led him to the conclusion that he could do more. The key thing that I always try to encourage young people to do is believe in themselves and believe that there is more out there despite the challenges they may face. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy path, let alone building a sustainable brand.

Glytime Foods is now a trusted brand that focuses on non-GMO health and wellness products, with about 12% of its products exported in the Southern African Development Community region, the key market currently being Zambia. The key to its success has been not only Marange’s skills, but also his vision to create an internationally recognized brand and his leadership, which has created a team of exceptional young people, all focused and driven by passion and excellence in everything they do. The company is now poised to reach greater heights after attracting institutional investors. Why am I telling you all this? It is important that our youth understand that firstly, there is no overnight success, and secondly, to excel, you have to be focused and principled. Chasing short-term wealth and material always ends in disaster.

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I know there are many other young Zimbabweans like Marange, and my wish is that they all can create a new network of young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs who are focused, creating businesses and companies with a new culture of doing things. But more importantly. who cooperate and cooperate in creating transformation in this economy. nothing is impossible! Our country Zimbabwe has all the resources we need to build a modern advanced country and our young entrepreneurs are the fuel for economic growth. Yes, we may have problems, but they won’t last forever.

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In the development of entrepreneurship, you should:

  • Promoting entrepreneurship education and skills training at all educational levels.
  • Facilitating the transition of informal companies to the formal economy.
  • Promoting the use of information and communication technology to improve productivity, creativity and innovation in youth companies. Strengthen financial literacy programs aimed at youth.
  • Promoting the participation of young entrepreneurs in national and international business linkage programs and industrial clusters.
  • Establish and support business and technology centers/incubators.
  • Support preferential youth procurement in the public and private sectors.
  • Private sector participation in initiatives and linkages to promote youth enterprise development.
  • Facilitating youth access to land for enterprise development.
  • Engage local leadership to support youth participation in all local provincial economies.

In my opinion, these should be the cornerstones of youth development initiatives that should be applied in all sectors of the economy, including the most important value-added sectors in agriculture, mining, energy, information and communication technology, tourism, industry, commerce, infrastructure, arts and entertainment. . .

The future is not what it seems!

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