30 000 entrepreneurs to get assistance from the US


The United States is set to offer tangible support to over 30 000 Zimbabwean entrepreneurs over the next year following a visit from an American private sector entrepreneur, who will lead discussions on how businesses can maximise resources.


Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, an official of the US Embassy, Karen Kelly said the US was a proud supporter of the Zimbabwean entrepreneurial eco-system.


“We have supported the founding of local technology and arts start-up hubs in Zimbabwe. We hope to provide tangible support to 30 000 Zimbabwean entrepreneurs over the next year,” she said.

“We believe that our support to this ecosystem is a very meaningful way for the US mission to promote the country’s economic recovery and growth, which is a priority for our co-operation in Zimbabwe.”

The support comes after the United States has also sponsored the successful Innovation Baraza and kick-started a Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. It will use the second phase of the Zimbabwe Works programme along with Swedish and British counterparts to support 30 000 entrepreneurs.

The support also comes as the US has dispatched entrepreneur, Evan Burfield who will lead discussions this week on how businesses can maximise resources.

Burfield is a founder of a successful incubator hub company called 1776, a business incubator in Washington DC that connects start-ups with resources in the Washington metropolitan area.

Last month, 14 Zimbabweans joined 1 000 entrepreneurs and investors from around the globe at United States President Barack Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi, Kenya.

“No other African nation has the same combination of education, infrastructure and language capability that Zimbabwe possesses.
In addition to fields such as agriculture, extraction, tourism and manufacturing, the US Embassy also focuses on promoting economic resilience in areas such as ICT and health,” Kelly said.

United States Ambassador Bruce Wharton has often been quoted saying that Zimbabwe’s best asset is its intellectual or human capital and that putting that resource to work can be done in ways that require modest capital outlays that are virtually all value-addition activities.

The embassy said Africa has the greatest ICT growth potential of any continent, and Zimbabwe was the nation in Africa best able to lead and profit from that growth.