Manicaland leads in innovation

02 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Manicaland leads in innovation Mr Zengeni

The ManicaPost


Cletus Mushanawani
News Editor

MANICALAND is making a strong case to clinch the coveted Eagles Nest Export Incubator Season Four trophy for the second year in a row.

It is no doubt that the pursuit of energised development requires the participation of everyone in national economic activities, particularly young people, and Manicaland Province is home to a lot of young business potential.

Last year, the Eagles Nest trophy found its way to Manicaland after Mr Richard Zengeni, the founder of Zeengaz Private Limited, scooped the gong.

His company made a lasting impression with his innovative approach to the production of banana chips.

The local company walked away with a cash prize and is expected to receive export promotion support from the country’s top export promoters, ZimTrade.

ZimTrade will be facilitating Zeengaz’s participation at trade fairs and trade missions across the world.

Speaking on his achievement, Mr Zengeni said: “To come out first in a selection pool that has a lot of great business minded young entrepreneurs and SMEs is a testament of the hard work that we have put in as Zeengaz in coming up with a product that tells the story of Manicaland.

“Our product does not only address the issue of dealing with post-harvest losses in the banana production chain, but also shows how youths can engage in value addition and innovation.

“In short, we are solving today’s problems with tomorrow’s solutions.”

He urged the youths in Manicaland to participate in the upcoming edition of Eagles Nest, saying the connections made from the programme will assist in growing and up-scaling businesses.

“The trainings that we received during the programme are very valuable to our business operations. Rubbing shoulders and being mentored by well-established business experts opened our eyes to new business possibilities that we were not aware of,” said Mr Zengeni.

ZimTrade Eastern Region regional manager, Mr Admire Jongwe said Eagles’ Nest is a youth incubator programme aimed at empowering youth-owned businesses with technical support to increase their capacitation for export markets.

“Previous notable participants from Manicaland include Nyanga Craft Ciders and Nezox Brands. They were all finalists when they participated in the programme.

“With regards to implementations, the export development and capacitation programme is divided into three phases where youth-led companies will be chosen to participate in various training and interventions to capacitate them for the export markets. Selected youth-led businesses will receive mentorship from ZimTrade’s associate trainers on exports to enable them to become exporters of their product or service on an ongoing basis.

“After receiving support, the youth-owned SMEs will contest in the national finals were the overall winner will be selected. The winner of the Eagles Nest programme gets a chance to receive support from ZimTrade to attend trade fairs in ideal markets specific to their products and export development packages to ensure their businesses can scale up and improve the product competitiveness on the export markets,” he said.

Mr Jongwe added: “Eligibility to participate in youth export incubation programme includes the fact that the business should be run by someone between the ages of 18-35, the business should be involved in value addition or horticultural products (excludes mining and fuel), the business should be easily scalable and it should demonstrate that it has been operating for at least two years. The business should also be locally owned and innovative.”

ZimTrade’s Eastern Region covers Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.


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