Being an entrepreneur is liberating. Acting on your idea. A chance to be your own boss. Sounds easy, but there is more that comes with the bold decision from the crunch of raising capital, lack of incubators and accelerators to a difficult economic environment. It is with this goal of giving start-ups a fighting chance, that the Eight2Five Innovation Hub powered by Old Mutual recently launched 4 tech start-ups into the market.
The start-ups launched and showcased varied business ideas that fit into the Zimbabwean landscape. The young entrepreneurs’ innovative ideas span the education, finance, commerce, and construction industries. The program supported these entrepreneurs by offering an ecosystem of mentorship, business skills development, and market linkages leveraging Old Mutual’s networks and influence.
Present at the hybrid event were Eight2Five development partners and mentors, members of the Old Mutual Executive Committee, the Honourable Minister Kirsty Coventry, and other entrepreneurs from the Eight2Five Innovation Hub.
Speaking at the Start-up Launch Samuel Matsekete, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Old Mutual Zimbabwe emphasised the Group’s commitment to this program.
“This launch reflects Eight2Five’s commitment to innovation and collaboration. To date, the Hub has impacted over 800 entrepreneurs and about 10 000 have participated in the Hub’s virtual programs. We look forward to not only launching more start-ups soon but also to nurturing the next multi-million-dollar unicorn.” – said Sam Matsekete.
He added, “Over and above this program, selected start-ups have enrolled for business incubation and today we are gathered to celebrate the launch of TaxPal, E-exam, Zezuru, and Everything Zimbabwean who have completed incubation and are ready for market’. He encouraged the start-ups to remain resolute as the launch is just the beginning of the journey and their future success awaits them.”
The Eight2Five Hub and the Value Creation Challenge are indeed strengthening the start-up culture and positioning Old Mutual Zimbabwe as an entrepreneur champion. They provide support and encouragement for young entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas who are willing to put in the hard work to start up their own businesses. The Value Creation Challenge, the Entrepreneurs & Start-up Meet up, and Pitch-perfect are among some of the programs that entrepreneurs derive value from.
“The hub has provided for us a stress-free working place and a platform to express ourselves. We have learnt a lot from different people who have done it before us from different fields. A number of captains of Industry have imparted wisdom to us courtesy of the Eight2Five Hub.” –Everything Zimbabwe
“The incubation process was smooth, and the journey was an eye-opening one. Got chance to meet bright minds and share ideas that contributed positively to the further development of our products.” – E-Exam
“Working with Old Mutual Zimbabwe through the Eight to Five Innovation Hub has been tremendously awesome. Our skills as a team have greatly improved with the guidance of experienced experts. Without the assistance of Old Mutual Zimbabwe, it would have been impossible to launch Tax Pal. Truly, they live up to their corporate motto, of “Championing positive futures” Do Great Things Every Day.” – Tax Pal
The Pitch Perfect has been a wonderful training experience for pitching in the real world. It has helped us to refine our pitches and be ready to face the world. Sessions on mental health have highlighted mental health issues faced by entrepreneurs and proffered solutions to such issues. Zezuru
“In recent years, more and more start-ups are growing with modernization, creativity, and innovation, which have a large potential to change our nation’s economy. My Ministry is invested in participating even more in research and development to fuel the next start-ups. I would like to commend the Eight2Five Start-up launch initiative powered by Old Mutual Zimbabwe and look forward to seeing the start-ups launched here today grow even further.” – said Hon. Minister Dr. Kirsty Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts, and Recreation.