The Value Creation Challenge, a competition launched by a partnership between Old Mutual and the British Council earlier this year, enters the all-important boot camp stage on Tuesday 3 December 2019 in Harare. The objective of the competition is to drive innovative and sustainable solutions to the socio-economic challenges being experienced today.
During bootcamp stage, the top 25 shortlisted contestants will attend a two-day intensive training workshop that will prepare them on how to effectively pitch their business ideas.
Both Old Mutual Zimbabwe and the British Council are driving the nation-wide Value Creation Challenge because they believe in and support local solutions to local problems, and are proud to a platform where innovative and sustainable ideas to socio-economic challenges can be incubated.
Welcoming the group of lucky contestants drawn from Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Lupane and Rusape, among other cities and towns, Old Mutual Group Marketing Executive, Lillian Mbayiwa, said they are important stakeholders in the business.
“We are excited to be part of this initiative that supports ideas that are creative enough to solve today’s problems. Innovation does not have to come from abroad. We know you are inventive enough through your brilliant ideas to provide local solutions,” Ms Mbayiwa said.
The participants of the boot camp run companies in their own right and have expressed what they expect to benefit from the intensive programme that will prepare them through training on pitching their business ideas to potential investors and scaling the business.
One contestant, Jeremiah Musungo of Bespoke Delights, a Harare company that produces health care products focusing on holistic wellness, said he was very excited to be among those who made it through to the boot camp. He looks forward to getting the knowledge, exposure and pitching skills.
“We expect to learn skills that will help us upscale our businesses for years and years to come and be able to pitch our ideas to potential investors,” he said.
One of his partners, Paidamoyo Muzangaza, a creative entrepreneur who is into premium skin and hair care solutions added that they wanted to understand their business better.
“We want to refine and align our goals and strategies for growth in 2020 through this training,” she said.
Msindazwe Ndlovu represents a Bulawayo-based company called The Noble Savage. They have been operating for the past 2 years to provide sustainable eco-friendly building material, and they are already planning to expand to Gweru and neighbouring Botswana.
He expected that the boot camp will help them holistically grow and redefine their business strategy to confront the challenges faced in the country.
“Our intention is to become part of the influencers that achieve the Vision 2020 set by the government for Zimbabwe to become a middle income country. The journey we are taking is to be part of the re-industrialisation process,” he said.
The contestants will appear before a panel of judges comprising of bankers, entrepreneurs, Old Mutual and British Council officials who will test the strength of their business pitches. From there, ten will go through to the next stage that involves a six-month incubation period at the Eight2Five Innovation Hub in Harare.
At the end of the incubation period, the top ten contestants will undertake the final pitching process from which the three top pitches will win seed capital, mentorship and business space.
The boot camp is being conducted in conjunction with Hatch Idea and Stimulus Africa.