BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Financial services provider Old Mutual Zimbabwe chief executive, Samuel Matsekete says it is vital to integrate the youth in the development of the economy.
Matsekete’s made the remarks as Eight2Five Innovation Hub powered by Old Mutual Zimbabwe in partnership with British Council Zimbabwe invites young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs aged between 18 to 45 to apply for participation in the Value Creation Challenge (VCC) 2021 edition.
The VCC was launched last year with the aim of supporting businesses and start-ups that provide innovative and sustainable solutions to Zimbabwe’s socio-economic and environmental challenges.
“The Value Creation Challenge is not only an opportunity to explore the role that financial services can play in helping young people make a successful transition into their most productive years. It is also an opportunity to link young people to real opportunities that exist both in the local and the regional markets,” he said.
“At this phase of development in Africa the continent’s growth relies on agile businesses that are powered at the core by innovation. We at Old Mutual consider it vital to integrate the youth in the development of our economy. The Value Creation Challenge seeks to demonstrate this thrust, and to assist the youths and young entrepreneurs on this journey.”
Matsekete said this year’s VCC program will be offered both online and in person, providing holistic business management while addressing some of the challenges that have been a result of Covid-19.
“This Value Creation Challenge presents an opportunity for the youth’s innovative solutions to socio economic and environmental challenges through young and funky ventures, digital content creation, data analytics, climate action, and emerging technologies to be amplified for the good of the nation as a whole,” he said.
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Matsekete said applications are to be submitted through the online portal URL: https://eight2five.co.zw/apply after reading and understanding the terms and conditions before the 14 of June 2021.
“Eligible businesses and start-ups are encouraged to apply before the 14th of June 2021, after which shortlisted applicants will be invited for interviews. The targets for this challenge are young businesses and start-ups that fall under the following pillars, data analytics, emerging technology, digital content creation, climate action young and funky,” he said.
Matsekete said at least four ambitious start-ups will proceed to this year’s accelerator program which comes with seed capital, mentorship, and capacity building.
“Eight2Five Innovation Hub believes that over the long-term, creating shared values within societies is the most sustainable way to improve livelihoods. This journey starts with transformation of how we do business through digital solutions, accessing skills, and technically assisting each other in our communities,” he said.
Country Director Zimbabwe and Southern Africa Lead · British Council Roland Davies; “Recognising and acknowledging the role young people play in economic and social development is key hence this particular programme is much more streamlined with specific targets in areas or sectors in which young people have passion and interest in developing their businesses.”
“We encourage female led businesses to apply, as our cultural relations work aims to bring diverse people together to learn, create and fulfil ambitions. British Council will continue to nurture creativity, innovation and flexibility by engaging a diversity of perspectives and spot new opportunities to work with partners like Old Mutual to achieve greater reach and impact.”
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