Mapping Social Businesses and Exploring the Ecosystem in Zimbabwe During the Third Contact Making Seminar

Exploring the ecosystem in Zimbabwe, visiting social ventures and meeting young entrepreneurs, who practice social entrepreneurship and solving problems in the community while contributing to better and stronger communities, were the key points during the third Contact Making Seminar as part of the Youth Empowerment through Social Entrepreneurship “We Care, Too” (YES WE CARE 2) project.

The team of Mladiinfo International together with the European partners Risky Business from Romania and ICT4D.at from Austria , hosted by our partners and friends Young Africa Zimbabwe, as part of the Youth Empowerment through Social Entrepreneurship “We Care, Too” (YES WE CARE 2) project, have mapped and visited social businesses and social business connectors in two cities of Zimbabwe – Harare and Chitungwiza.

At the first day of the Seminar, the project team was welcomed by e4Impact – The Catholic University of Zimbabwe that provides education, research and service programs, and fosters commitment, service, moral uprightness and academic excellence.

During the visit, the team also had a chance to visit the Zimbabwe Sunshine Group – an assembly of young people who desire to see good waste management standards, as well as, Tamba Washables, a business that provides washable diapers in order to cut the poor waste collection.

Our team also paid a visit to our hosts Young Africa Zimbabwe who are also helping young social entrepreneurs to develop and promote their business in Harare and several other cities across the country.

The second day started with a visit to Junior Achievement Zimbabwe, an NGO working with children and youth from 10 to 35 years. They offer tailored made programs for young people for basic financial and business skills.

Another great visited business was the Shift Organic Technologies, a social enterprise using new technologies for sustainable and smart organic production. They also educate young people on the topic of organic farming and ICT skills to promote and raise awareness of sustainable food production and organic waste management.

On the agenda also were the Men’s Health Clinic Zimbabwe, an organization that offers health services and medicine for men and also runs several awareness-raising campaigns and Stimulus, a business hub that focuses on capacity building for entrepreneurs primarily through training, business coaching mentorship and networking.

The second day was closed with a paid visit to Elevate Trust, a network for youth empowerment through ICT technologies. They offer various programs in liaison with international youth entrepreneurial awards making sure to equip young people from rural areas with the necessary life and self-employment skills.

The third day of the seminar continued with visiting BlitzTech Electronics, an aspiring tech startup connecting the African business and consumer space with the rest of the world.

The same day, our team had also a chance to talk with a young entrepreneur and founder of IPA – Ashley Chimhanda. IPA is a mobile application that is currently in the testing phase and provides an equal distribution of free food for people having difficulties to access quality nutrition.

The next stop was in the premises of Young Africa. YA empowers young people by providing vocational training, life skills, and entrepreneurship. Next on the list was the BOOST Fellowship, an NGO that provides mentoring programs for aspiring social entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe.

The journey continued in ACT in Africa, a social impact organization that identifies opportunities for youth in order to help them in the employment process. ACT in Africa runs several programs on providing training curriculum for young women entrepreneurs. The team also had a chance to visit the Ministry of Youth in Zimbabwe, which supports the NGO sector in Zimbabwe by organizing training courses for young people in remote areas. Before closing the day with a visit to the Impact Hub Harare, a social innovation space that is a nest of the change-makers in Zimbabwe.

The last day was reserved for two more businesses. The first one was Tech Hub Harare, a nonprofit startup that helps young and innovative entrepreneurs to start and grow their ventures. And last but not least, our team visited the Alley Capital Group, an engineering company providing services and products that adopt state-of-the-art technologies across several sectors of the economy in the country.

Our team left Zimbabwe with amazing memories as a result of visiting so many inspiring businesses filled with young motivated Africans who engage on a daily basis in social entrepreneurial activities and trying to make a difference in their communities.

It was a pleasure exchanging experiences, practices and positive energy!

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