Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Doing Business in Zimbabwe

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I interviewed tech-entrepreneur Tatenda Furusa yesterday. Having just returned from the United States and established his own venture, Mealie Media, here in Zimbabwe, I asked him what advice he’d give Zimbabweans who are looking to come back and do the same:

First research and homework. Do your online research, read news articles as much as you can, check Kubatana or whatever journals of whichever sector you’re in. Call people back home, who are there and ask them what’s going on for raw feedback and the truth. Ask them what they would do if they had fifty thousand dollars. Thirdly, take time off and take a trip here. Don’t come here for two weeks, or during December and January because it’s just a bubble. Come through in August and September, in the last quarter of Zimbabwe’s financial year when it’s a little difficult to find money. Come back for a month, visit people, speak to people, and learn about what’s going on. By that point you’ll know if the pros outweigh the cons. It’s a place where you’ll definitely need a pool of funds, anything starting from I think, $5000 upwards. Capital that allows you to do your work freely and quickly is very important. Make sure or try your best to get a joint venture partnership on your trip here, if you can work with someone who’s been here for ten plus years or who’s been here and never left. Or if you’re going to start the business on your own give yourself a year to eighteen months.

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