Diaspora Matters

Diaspora Matters

Of Climate Change, Cyclone Idai and Entrepreneurship


You have all seen the effects and impact of the Cyclone Idai….devastating impact to Chimanimani and Chipinge. It’s unfortunate that we have lost a lot of lives and livelihoods have been destroyed.

The cyclone wreaked havoc in southern parts of Malawi and the Mozambican side last week and this should have been a heads up of what was coming our way. Unfortunately we were caught unawares and resulted in some avoidable loss of lives.

Perhaps the poor response can be attributed to the fact that cyclones are a rare phenomenon in this part of the equator. The last devastating cyclone was Cyclone Eline in the year 2000. Cyclone Japhet was a follow up but the impact was not as severe as what we experienced with Cyclone Idai.

For risk management professionals, are you considering the impact of climatic change in your strategies? Do your risk registers include climatic change and natural disasters? When carrying out risk assessments, are you giving enough weighting to climatic change impact?

Are audit reports including this important area or the focus is strictly on financial transactions? Just check the social and economic damage done to:

  1. Hundreds of human lives lost in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
  2. Thousands of livestock lost
  3. Farm produce lost
  4. Roads, dams, telecommunication and electricity infrastructure
  5. Irrigation systems damaged
  6. Bridges, homes, shops, clinics, prisons and  hospitals damaged
  7. Cost to education, school infrastructure destroyed, access roads destroyed

We are talking of damage running into hundreds of millions of dollars. Does this make sense why the issue of climatic change is finding itself in financial subjects? The drought experienced during the year is already another huge cost and a cyclone was the last thing we were anticipating! Add to this an economy which is struggling for recovery.

How many organisations had fully covered climatic change in their strategies? How many banks were monitoring the development of the cyclone over the Indian Ocean? How many had assessed the potential impact of climatic conditions on their business operations?

Econet, Telecel and Netone will have to repair damaged infrastructure.

Fuel companies will have to consider the impact of damaged roads and bridged between Mutare and Beira. We may potentially end up with fuel shortages in the country.

NGOs operating in parts of Manicaland and Masvingo will have to count losses to their programs as damages were done to clinics, irrigation systems, dams, agriculture and more.

If you had shops or farming activities then you were also hit with buildings washed away or collapsing. Tobacco farmers have their barns destroyed and crops as well.

So when considering investment, are you fully assessing all the risks? When crafting business strategies and models, are you covering environmental issues fully?

This is food for thought for entrepreneurs, the unfortunate part is insurance companies consider issues such as cyclones ‘Acts of God’ and therefore do not cover this area meaning businesses have to fully absorb the losses and write them  off their balance sheets.

We have also noted over the years that varying rainfall patterns are also increasing the likelihood of earth tremors in the eastern part of Zimbabwe. We expect more tremors or even earthquakes to follow Zimbabwe in 6-10 months time due to the impact of Cyclone Idai. The tremors may even damage more properties that would have been repaired or those not affected by the cyclone.

Is this risk on your radar? Does your organisational strategy include it? Does climatic risk feature prominently in your management and board reports? Are you discussing this for the first time? Correct the weakness and closely monitor emerging risks coming from environmental changes.

Meanwhile we would like to acknowledge the sterling work done by the Honourable Joshua Sacco the Member of Parliament of Chimanimani West. He has been visible, getting his hands dirty, appealing for aid and keeping communication lines open. Great example of how to deal with disasters. The situation could have been better if we had planned better for the response given the lead time the cyclone took from Malawi and Mozambique before hitting our eastern region.

Perhaps devolution needs to be taken seriously and empower provincial governments because they have first hand of local developments. They are better prepared to take pre-emptive action before Harare gives a go ahead.

For more help for cyclone victims get in touch with Econet and David Coltart. They are running Appeal funds-kindly donate and assist our brothers and sisters in need.

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Diaspora Matters

The Toughest Job For Zimbabweans Ever


Our nation has some of the brightest minds on the continent. We hold top positions in many organisations across the region, the continent and the world. Zimbabweans skills are found at top institutions such as World Bank, IMF, UN, BBC, SABC and NASA. Our government has tried its best in promoting education and for this reason; we have one of the highest literacy rates on the continent.

Hardworking and honest citizens, whenever a Zimbabwean is given a job, be assured they will do their level best. From Accounting, Agriculture, Robotics, Medicine, Marketing….we are extremely rich on human capital. So given the background of these skills, what do Zimbabweans struggle with?

The area that gives Zimbabweans the toughest challenge is partnership especially partnership in business! All the education, all the skills come to naught when you ask Zimbabweans to come together and form a business partnership.

Getting them together is extremely difficult and assuming they manage to do so, the partnership will not last! The country promotes individualism and perhaps this can be traced to the education system where team work is not actively encouraged. One must succeed alone and should get the glory alone!

How many presidential election candidates did we have last July? How many political parties are we going to end up with at the end of the year? Even at church level, how many churches do we have? What is happening with AFM church?

How many blue chip companies did we form outside the borders? Why do we have only Strive Masiyiwa as the only official billionaire? Why did we lose the Barclays Bank stake to Malawians?

When it comes to unity in business, Houston we have got a problem!

If we openly talk about this area, hold discussions and acknowledge our weaknesses and correct them, then the country is going to reclaim its rightful place on the continent. If we however continue with individualism then we will continue lagging behind.

Other nationalities such as Somalis in South Africa are doing well collectively, Nigerians across the continent are doing well on the auto-parts business. Burundians in Malawi are doing extremely well with commodity broking. Congolese nationals in Mbare enjoy the lion’s share of food imports.

One of our forum objectives is the promotion of business partnerships in Zimbabwe and below we cover a hot topic on our forum.


Hello ladies and gentleman. Please help me I’m into cake business and have a friend who is also into cakes but her hands are tied sometimes. So she gives me orders when she can’t do such as wedding cakes. She is not well versed with some of the baking processes.

Whenever we receive an order for a birthday cake, I do the buying of ingredients, baking and delivery of the cakes. Iye anobatsirawo twaanogona.What percentage of the profit should I give her? The 50/50 is not working for me.Please help.


Luwy Kay Kusemwa Zvine mutauro.

Firstly any cake that you bake iye akaita kunge assistant baker do a 80:20 ratio (introduction plus assistant fee)

Secondly any cakes that you do all the work from buying ingredients, baking and delivery 90:10 ratio (introduction fee)

Thirdly if you are in Zim things are hard for everyone but munhu wese ane tools to make it work. Social media should be one of your best advertising tools. The other being word of mouth from your existing networks. You could try branch away from this friend of yours arikukushandisa and making a name for herself whilst you are the one doing the work.

Sit down naye and you tell her you are not her employee and she is not your employer. If i were you I would work hard to source my own clients. She should just refer those to you without expecting payment for work that you are doing. Right now she is learning from you and once she is able to do those wedding cakes on her own she will drop you.

It’s not that hard to get clients if you have a smart phone and internet.

Feel free to inbox me I can try help you to create your own advert and show you how to advertise on Fb, IG, WhatsApp etc.

Runyararo Primrose Chandiwana-Munjoma I also bake kkk 50/50 sei iwe watenga ingredients kkk they are 2 ways to do it fairly;

1. If she gives you her a referral l token you would have given to anyone else akuita refer a customer at most 15per of the profit kwete of the sale coz ukati of the sale wanyura kumaingredients
2. She can just be a broker akawana customer okubvunza uda marii apa iwe ukati $10 iye oti kune customer yake $20 otora yake yemusana $10.
Wedding cakes same same better atorege kubatsira or she helps and  observe you do the other stuff and learn.
Kana zvanetsa leave her orders nekudhura kwakuita ingredients bodo

Eng Brian Mukoyi I understood this to mean the friend is bringing business though she is not well versed with cakes

There are two things
1. Either you genuinely want business advise to cover your costs and make your profit or
2. You are selfish. You want to sideline the source of your business.

More often than we struggle because we don’t know how to deal with partnerships and synergies.

Genuinely look at your costs incl your own labour (priced fairly) then advise your partner of those costs and proposed split. 

If you break this partnership, she will look for another partner who can give her a better deal. 

Consider her business as addition to your own capacity . Do your own cakes as an individual and in your ‘spare time’ take her business. Every cent counts!

Rejoice N Zvobgo I think it depends with how much you both invested into the business ma shares enyu ndoanotaura how it’s supposed to be.

Tech Hub Harare Partnerships can be good or bad for business. They can make or break you. In general partner with someone who can do what you can’t do. Evidently you need your partner coz she gets the orders and that is why we go into business to generate profitable sales. Her customers I have no doubt are often repeat customers. Make it work. It’s ok to discuss new terms but bear in mind the value she is bringing in the relationship, which can be easy to overlook.

Frank Mzondiwa The writer is about to become greedy. Partnerships work and as you alluded to she is giving you a steady supply of clients.

Now you want more as you feel you are doing the bigger work but without those clients your partner is supplying you wouldn’t begetting anything right.

You may break off from her but you don’t have the marketing acumen that she has.

Imagine a football player or musician dumping her manager and going it alone. Read Strive Masiyiwa’s latest post, he said most investors Do not fund single person run businesses.

He said most people have money but are failing to make it in business because they do not have a partner. 

As an individual the going will get tough you don’t know the type of work your partner is doing to get clients.

Leave greed aside and go 50/50

50% of an elephant is better than 100% of a rabbit..after breaking off you may get 1 client per year.

P Phiri : Devise an agreed share scheme right from the start….ipapo pahumbimbindoga – going solo- ndoopatiri kufira isu vatema- tichikundwa nevarungu!

Most of these billionaires of today had just original ideas but financing came in the form of selling shares – thus the concept of *venture capitalists*

You seem greedy @50/50 bcoz you making profit… forgetting kuti at 50/50 its also a shared risk in the event of business failing! Without her giving your orders – then your business drops!

Forum Member : Exactly securing orders (Marketing ) is tricky business and you get your fingers burnt in the event that the order flops, when everything is smooth running zvoita kunge ari ku benefiter, however I would be comfortable with situation yekuti she buys ingredients, and you charge her labour and your overheads like any other client auya ne order asi ane ma ingredients, that way you dont feel like you are doing her a favour, its just business!!
Tricky part is if you have had this arrangement for long and she has enjoyed the profits, kana ari well connected she might take her business elsewhere! Think it through, explain nyaya yekutenga ma ingredients and stuff and put your proposal on the table.

P Phiri  I think as Zimbabweans we should honestly start looking at ourselves and put ourselves in the other person’ s shoes, partnerships work for people from other nationalities asi isu we are quick to think of how we should profiteer individually, guys let us mature to that stage yekuti zvirinani ndiwane 10% of 1000 ,instead of 100% of nothing.Kuti basa rinzi basa ma orders without orders hapana basa. Goodwill yemunhu ane ma clients counts in a very big way.

Pervia Ngwenya Its a Agreement or arrangement which involves 2 or more different pple coming together and setting out shares and terms. So we suggest tauriranai.

MissLolo Chor Vanhu varikuti 50/50 are you serious though! What about ingredients and electricity bill, utensils? Ahhhh guys! It can’t be 50/50!

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Diaspora Matters

Diploma in Kombi Management


Isn’t it a wonder that our local universities do not have any formal courses on Kombi businesses? Absolutely no course on running kombis or mshikashikas and yet this is one of the biggest sectors in the economy? Harare alone is estimated to have more than 10.000 kombis and an unknown huge number of mshikashikas(small unregistered taxis).

This is a sector that employs thousands of people and also helps to empower plenty. A diploma in running kombis would be a relevant qualification that ensures one gets employment or start own transport business.

Local colleges…wakey wakey or soon ZBIN will register as a college offering streetwise degrees and diplomas lol On a serious tip, we will grab half of the market share currently enjoyed by leading universities. Most of the local degree programs produce unemployed graduates and yet we have expanding business sectors such as kombis, mshikashikas,malayitsha where no formal education exist.

Will a Kombi Management Graduate(KMG) find no employment? Will a KMG fail to raise own funds to start a business? How many kombi owners are employing unqualified people? Will a KMG not find employment as a driver? Yes drivers are earning more than most formally employed people. Our college professors should think in other terms or they will lose out to street colleges which produce empowered graduates with skills to start own businesses or be employed in a fast expanding sector but lacking in terms professional skills.

Below we cover what universities should be covering.

What sort of advice would you give to a first timer Kombi owner?

Brain Dumira Please be the hwindi!

Simba Mutandwa Bad investment, prepare to suffer from hypertension.

Darlington Makaya When you see a missed call from the driver then know kuti ma 1 atanga. Lol

Frank Kalonde Buy Toyota Hiace Super 16s, ignore Quantums!

Chenjerai J Chikwangwani Takawira I have been in the business for 3 years now lessons acquired so far : 1. Put your drivers and conductors on funeral covers 2.always buy a new Kombi 
3.enjoy 20% and reinvest the rest
4.have an asset replacement reserve
5.Get all the papers
6.never be afraid to say you are fired

Simbarashe Tafirenyika Also got a qtn on kombi business,zvikubhadhara here these days?

Tnashe Aaron Basira Noone in our country offers a systematic mode of transport, why cant 1 stary a system whereby people can buy monthly tickets then the the transport provider just goes around set routes with set times picking up people. That way we will help employees save money, whilst making money as the transport provider

Rosemary Chiganze You will count cash everyday .invest the profits. know when to “harvest ” the business.inogona kuzodya mari yese yayakashanda.

Charlemaigne Alexander chakatanga ndochakachenjedza🙂.

Wellahz McWellennium My advice is: Be the mechanic, Traffic police, driver and hwindi at the same time, otherwise hapana zvawaita.

Tristan Knill Driver must obey all traffic rules

Ronald Mutumbi Mahwani ako atangidza.

Chenjerai J Chikwangwani Takawira Get all the papers 1) m.v insurance $86(2) m.v license 3) rank disc $75 (4) operators license 5) passenger insurance $204 6)route permit $75

Vickvock Samu make sure you service your vehicle timely, have correct papers (usaite hukopokopo), don’t put high targets or expectations (vakomana vanouraya vachida kubata target), be clear & specific to your employees or collegues, save something on daily basis.

Michael Zemura 1. Just know no matter how strict u a, they will still yawo yemusana. 2. Save save for the big repairs

Matthew Tinashe Nyaguze Don’t expect much, know when to change employees and know when to park the vehicle when it’s not working. Rather, do your accounts well and they will tell you whether to continue or move out of business while your vehicle has a good value. The biggest challenge is HR Relations.

MrWillies Chimuti u need to save a lot so that the kombis multiply cox kuti usagare pasi ivawo neakati wandei and also kana achiri mashoma the bad days anorwadza kupfura kunakidza kunoita the good ones so plix bro or sis save and save and save kusvika wane 10 or more then you can relax cox that business is stressing kana uine mashoma

Nyasha Sundai Dnt give your drivers a big target and always service yo kombi every 5000km and usangochinje chinje ma driver

Mupfumi FX Track your driver&conductor.. Usaite business iri nekuripira gotsi hoping kuti cash will just trickle in easily…

Have a fund for regular servicing.

Have an accumulating fund to buy another!

Trish Bruins Teach them manners.!!

Elvis Mazumba Service and makesure employ driver ari mature enough

Richard Vari first pinda wega pa road unyatsodoona kuti pakamira sei so that mangeana what ever your drivers bring home u dont think wabirwa. also your staff should be well behaved and should respect ma pasengers ndivo varungu vako..

Ashley Ndlovu tsvaga manager kana makombi ako ava 4 or more

Royel Damson You need to consider the route you want to service how good are the roads vs the money you will be getting… You don’t have to listen to your employees (driver and door men) unless what they are saying is making sense and its a fact. Personally u need to understand the whole transport system, remember that kombi business in Zim it’s not a formal job no matter mota yako ine maPaper ese be in a position to be a street player and deal with different situations accordingly. Have time to talk with other operators to know how they are doing it… Be simple, easy but strict.

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Diaspora Matters

Where to invest in Zimbabwe in 2019


Your favourite small business forum has not been active in the past few months covering opportunities in the country. We would like to apologise as we have been busy with the compilation of an SA book for entrepreneurs. We are glad its now complete and will now focus on opportunities in the country and the region.

Despite the negative vibe economically, is it all gloom and doom for our members? Not really, there are pockets of investment which look promising and you need to carefully study and monitor them. We still remain hopeful that a political settlement is not far away. Economic developments will eventually lead to a negotiated settlement and when this happens, Zimbabwe will roar again like it did between 2009 and 2013.

Where are the pockets of opportunities?

  1. Mining: Where is the most money in Zimbabwe? It is obviously in mining for well established companies and small scale mining. Opportunities abound in gold and chrome mining especially in areas such as Midlands, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central. New gold deposits are being found every month especially by small scale miners. The mining value chain includes inputs for the mining sector such as equipment and processing chemicals-huge gap with massive opportunities and selling of mineral outputs. Some enterprising Zimbabweans are involved precious minerals mining and trading in Mozambique.
  2. Farming in Mozambique and Malawi: A Zimbabwean based in South Africa supplied Pick and Pay with mushrooms worth in 2018 and became the biggest local supplier of mushrooms with a R11 million worth of produce. A significant number of Zimbos are investing in agricultural activities in Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. When our forum visited Tete we witnessed a white Zimbabwean with a flourishing piggery project along the Zambezi River. Some of our members are carrying out farming operations in Malawians that allow them access to lucrative European export markets. We also witnessed a Zimbabwean farmer who is growing Zimbabweans vegetables such as rape, tsunga and mutikiti in Durban and he is enjoying brisk business in the tourist city.
  3. Agriculture: You do not necessarily need to own a farm in order to benefit from farming opportunities (Dr Strive Masiyiwa). There are a lot of mechanisation opportunities in the farming sector. Study how borehole companies are benefiting from sinking boreholes in urban areas and farming regions. To diasporans with free funds, the best opportunity is the export of tractors to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe needs more tractors and other farming mechanisation inputs.
  4. Chinese Products Imports: Our country is going to rely on imports for a very long time. Consider buying Chinese products such as clothing, shoes, stationery, electrical appliances from China for resale to SADC countries such as Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Lesotho. Some time back on our forum we featured an interesting business model of entrepreneurs buying goods from Chinese Factory Shops in Joburg for sale in neighbouring countries. This model is responsible for half of the clothes now being sold in areas such as Harare, Gweru, Mutare and Bulawayo. Look for the write up on our Facebook or Whatsapp pages.
  5. Public Transport Buses: Zimbabwe will continue to face fuel problems and the reason is simple-we just do not have enough foreign currency! The hiring of private buses by the government is a great initiative and we expect this model to be expanded in the coming months as a stop gap measure to alleviate transport problems.
  6. Privatisation: The government has earmarked certain loss parastatals for privatisation. The process is going to take some time but we do expect a couple of parastatals to go under the hammer. Do not be left out of privatisation opportunities-great investment opportunity.
  7. Chimoio Imports: Traffic from Zimbabwe to Chimio is on the increase with Zimbabweans sourcing goods such as second hand clothes bales and cellphones. Chimoio is now essentially the cellphone capital of Zimbabwe with cheap cellphones sold in bulk. An investment tour of the town is worthwhile. Some have found markets for Zim products such as mazoe drinks, cerelac, fruit and veges. Go to Roadport and watch closely products exported to Mozambique. 
  8. Runner Opportunities: We mention once more that most of the new opportunities in Zimbabwe are import based. New opportunities are emerging for those who transport goods from foreign countries to Zimbabwe. Missing are reputable registered companies that transport goods for a fee. There are a lot of individuals involved in the malayitsha business operating on an individual basis. Visit areas such as Mbare and Machipisa and watch buses from Musina loaded with 99% goods and 1% passengers. Its not surprising to see a full bus with 4 passengers with the rest of the space filled with imported goods.
  9. 4th Industrialisation Opportunities: The 4th industrialisation is upon us and those in the developing world can agree that there are new opportunities related to this area. In Zimbabwe its going to take a couple of years but early opportunities exist on the entertainment sector. Refer to our Facebook page for reference.
  10. Bitcoin Mining: The Bitcoin came with a big bang and promised huge rewards for early adopters. The sharp rise in 2017 that saw its value shooting through the roof to a value of $20.000 was sweet news for investors. However it didn’t take long for the bull run to come to an abrupt end sending the value tumbling down. It is now trading at a value below $4.000 and  this has reduced interest amongst Zimbabweans. However there are opportunities in Bitcoin mining and we have covered this comprehensively on our forums.

Where to exercise caution

Avoid forex trading at all costs-it is producing no meaningful returns, instead the only people benefiting from its trade are trainers and forex brokers! Exercise caution before you consider this option-it’s the fastest way to lose money and thousands have learnt the hard way.

Avoid the partnership route when venturing into new business ventures you have little knowledge of. Being a first timer in any business is high risk, partnering with someone you have little knowledge of means you have multiplied your risks by 100%. A lot of fraudsters are using the partnership route to defraud first time entrepreneurs.

First time to start a business and rent commercial properties? In Zimbabwe the peak spending period is usually from September to December. Seasoned entrepreneurs usually close their operations during the non peak period and then chase them off their premises when the festive season approaches. Take this into consideration when venturing into businesses such a bottlestores and pubs, retail shops and clothing business. Kukama mombe wakabata ma binocular!

We wish you the best in 2019. To join some of our best forums in mining, agriculture, poultry and Mozambique do contact our admin Catherine Shava on +263776196313. Do not forget our business tour to Malawi coming in April.

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Diaspora Matters

Peeping into the future


The buzz around the future of work in South Africa has been around coding. Kids should focus on coding in order to be relevant in future. You see everything is being impacted by technology if you are not technology savvy then your future is in peril. However a recent conference challenged the coding notion. New super computers are being built which process complex data and solving complex problems in record time. So coding is likely to be replaced by computers very soon and possessing the coding skills is likely to be akin to possessing typewriting skills!

Rather visionaries are emphasising on the need for creative skills…ability to adapt to the technological landscape, more emphasis on soft skills such as leadership, relationship building and networking and above all…Resilence! They say resilience helped build Silicon Valley.

The major problem with new technology is that it does not stand on top of a mountain and shout  that we are coming. They don’t publish it in newspapers, set up billboards and television adverts. You will just quietly find it and in sometimes resist it but not for long.

Take for instance the accounting field, for most foreign companies or organisations-they now scan payment vouchers and upload it onto an accounting system. This means the future of manual auditors is in peril. Auditing will now be done by super computers at a fraction of the current audit costs and these computers do 100% audit sampling …so no more need for huge audit teams!

What is needed in future of accountants is financial analysis of data produced by computers. Analysing analysis data for decision making. So if you an accountant and the word Big Data is not featuring in your vocabulary then you are 20 years behind. If you are a lecturer and data analysis is not in your notes then you are very behind…you need to catch up.

So our kids need to take an interest in technological developments across the globe, the latest developments in Silicon Valley, closer home, tech news from SA, Kenya and Rwanda.

Following Tech News is Future 101

The second one is getting certification in the latest technological qualifications. Cyber security is a key theme as most transactions have shifted online. Graphic designing is changing the future of advertising, Digital marketing is a must have skills for marketers and entrepreneurs. Should we mention Big Data again?

Follow the content of MBA syllabuses from leading international colleges. What is it they are including but local colleges do not? A look at the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting shows a great deal of tech courses for qualified members doing professional development learning….technology is shaping all the new courses.

Getting Professional Certification is Future 102

If your under graduate degree or post graduate degree is not aligned to the future needs of relevant skills then its obsolete. New technology is cruel….extremely cruel. Think of PTC and its phone booths which were popular in the 90s….there were technicians working on them right? I remember they were some of the highest paid professionals in the country back then. If phone servicing was your only skill….then you should have been hit when the mobile network technology took over.

Appreciating the impact of technology in your industry or profession is Future 103

Long articles are boring, the average attention span is now down to 9 seconds. Now here is something interesting. New technology has a extremely short life span. Do u remember your first phone? How many versions of the phone have you witnessed? Do u remember the coming of automated teller machines in the 90s? They replaced bank tellers with IT professionals who monitored the ATMs network but right now mobile money has disrupted the ATM industry and we need 4-5 years before another new technology disrupts the mobile money industry. Ever heard of crypto currencies?

Understanding that life spans of new technology is very short is Future 104

Did you follow the electoral Constitutional Court challenge last August? The whole case was based on technology…it was a data centred court process and be default technology based. Contesting parties had to hire data scientists from Kenya because it’s a skill in shortage in the country. Our lawyers also do not have the skill….statistics and big data not covered at the law school! So our lawyers need to go back to school and be relevant or they will be saying the pith and fulcrum to no effect.

We need to continuously study and equip ourselves with latest technological skills to be competitive. An auditor with no cyber security and data analysis skills is going to be ineffective in his or her duties. A medical doctor too, teacher too…marketer, entrepreneur etc.

Now you do not often find such simplified document but very helpful post coming free of charge. Its usually reserved for conferences not attended by many. So count yourself lucky, print the document and share with your colleagues and more importantly your kids!

You need this document for career guidance. If your kid says I want to be this or that…not bad but let them appreciate the future technological trends, let them follow tech news,  let them predict what is coming next and emphasise on key skills.

Coding is still fine it helps us appreciate that the future is engineering and ICT however it’s the soft skills that matter most. Analysis skills, ability to adapt-resilience and networking. We are fighting with computers and robots which are taking over traditional roles such as manual processing, vehicle driving, bookkeeping, lawyers, store keeping, bank tellers, receptionist, nursing, teaching and auditing.

For entrepreneurs, the future is extremely bright as new industrial revolutions are bringing new opportunities. Adapt and grab them or someone else will…

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Diaspora Matters

To go to China or Joburg?


It is a Monday morning and traffic is heavy in Johannesburg. Our team is in the city for a tour of Chinese Factory Shops analysing the various goods sold by Chinese entrepreneurs. Our first stop is the China Mall in downtown Joburg. Its a busy centre with hundreds of shoppers trying out or buy various goods for resale.

On offer are various electrical appliances, clothes, hair products, shoes, handbags, plastic chairs and umbrellas. The most popular and fast moving goods are clothes bought for resale by South Africans travelling from as far as East London, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and Polokwane. Foreign immigrants are also mixing and mingling in the crowded place ordering shoes, clothes and handbags. Zimbabweans, Tswanas, Mozambicans, Malawians, Swazis are also in the mix with trolleys full of goods which are bought strictly on cash.

Welcome to Chinese Factory Shops where goods are imported into South Africa from one of the biggest trading partners of South Africa-China! In 2017 South Africa imported goods worth $12.8 Billion from China making it the top import country for the rainbow nation. The trend of imports from the vast country continues with no other country threatening its pole position.

Evidence of the imports is best illustrated by the factory shops owned by thousands of Chinese entrepreneurs who ship thousands of containers of goods every month. They have the largest presence in the commercial city of Mzantsi and we were there to witness what exactly happens at these shops.

We visited more than 5 Chinese shopping centres and were impressed by how China is helping the growth of entrepreneurship in the region. They have huge discounts for clients buying in bulk (usually in boxes). Shoes cost from as little as R70 and resold from R150 and above in South Africa and more mark ups added for neighbouring countries. Dresses have price tags of R80-R120 and being resold after adding mark ups of 60% and above.

We observed interesting business models of entrepreneurs taking photos of dresses and shoes, adding a mark up and sending the photos to clients and asking them if they are interested. Positive confirmations resulted in deals being sealed with goods being purchased per order. What an efficient way to conduct business-buy goods with a ready market!

Some entrepreneurs live in Joburg and conduct deals with with clients in the country and neighbouring countries. After purchase the goods are send to clients and for neighboruing countries, they are send by bus with clients collecting them the following morning.

The big question we asked is whether its viable to buy goods from China buying airplane tickets and adding accomodation costs…or its better to simply buy from South African Chinese Shops?

This is the question we tackled in our latest book ‘Business Opportunities for South Africans’.

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Diaspora Matters

Awesome Business Opportunities in Malawi


Our forum has fallen in love with Malawi having conducted several entrepreneurship trainings in the Warm Heart of Africa. We are now a brand name in the country being known for delivering value for money entrepreneurship programmes. Through interactions with Malawian citizens, we have managed to observe opportunities on the ground which our members can tap into.

Why Malawi?

It has a fast growing middle income class

It’s the most hospitable country in Africa

Entrepreneurship is picking up in the country

Affordable cost of living

Hard working citizens

Which opportunities can you find in Malawi?

1.Fabrics-visit Roadport and check out fabric materials being transported to Malawi everyday
2. Fruits-buy from SA fruits like oranges and apples and sell in Malawi
3. Clothing-buy from China and sell in Malawi (Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Zomba)
4. Arts and crafts-train how to make hats, carpets or bags
5. Supply art and crafts supplies- carpet underlay from Harare or Home builders Warehouse in SA
6. Set up a maputi or freezit making business or distributor

7. Set up a fruit juice small plant (Plenty of fruits such as mangoes and tomatoes but not much oranges and apples
8. Start a poultry project (Some entrepreneurial minded Zimbos are farming crops for sale to EU markets)
9. White South African and Zimbabwean investors are investing along the shores of Lake Malawi.

What can you buy from Malawi?
1. Kilombero(Malawi Rice) Buy it for $20-$25 in Lilongwe per 50kg and sell it at US$3/kg in Harare, Joburg or Gaberone. There is unlimited potential for the rice.
2. Agriculture produce (Nyimo, Soya beans, Groundnuts and more)

3. Shoes (Check out with Trip trans bus-everyday it brings shoes and other products imported from a Chinese factory located in Limbe Industrial Sites)
4. Fruit Juices (Unexplored market where they cost 40 cents but resale value in Zim $2 and above)

It costs $25 to travel to Blantyre, buses found at Roadport and leave at 7:00am everyday
You leave at 7:00am and arrive in Blantyre at 6:00pm
Buses leave Blantyre everyday at 6:30am and arrive in Harare at 7:00pm
Taxi cabs in Blantyre cost roughly $5. Accomodation  ranges from $15 per night for the cheapest lodges up to $100 if you prefer better accommodation at hotels.
Accomodation in Blantyre cost approximately $30 per day but in Lilongwe it can be $40-$130
Buses from Blantyre to Lilongwe leave at 7:00pm everyday and cost $10 per trip.

*Get a yellow card if you have travelled to the developed world or Tanzania, Zambia or Angola. Follow instructions from bus conductors. Many first time travellers forget this important advice and find themselves in trouble!

Take note
For Kilombero rice, you need permits for transport and they generally cost $5-$10 
Malawi Immigration authorities search every bag, sometimes even purses.

Immigration officials at Nyamapanda have 2 sniffer dogs which check every bag coming into Zimbabwe, so do not be involved in drug trafficking.

Avoid changing money at borders, you can buy fake notes. Bus conductors will advise you on the best strategy for changing your money from USD to Kwacha or vice versa

Our forum is in the process of arranging a tour to Malawi and we will advise you of the dates.

Enjoy business in Malawi

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Diaspora Matters

Great Resource Book for SA Entrepreneurs


We have excellent news for South African Entrepreneurs as we have produced probably the best resource book for entrepreneurs in South Africa. The book titled Business Opportunities for South Africans and is based on business opportunities and building of solid relationships in order to create sustainable business models.

What makes the book unique is that its based on various researches plus the experiences of over 1000 entrepreneurs. We have captured the experiences of entrepreneurs who are struggling in business, some assisting others in various aspects of business. We have included several success stories that will inspire those already in business or contemplating plunging into the treacherous entrepreneurship waters. Every chapter includes experiences and resources for entrepreneurs making it a great addition to the South African Entrepreneurship landscape. The book includes researches from trainings we have conducted in 9 provinces of South Africa and brings new insights and analysis to help inspire entrepreneurs across the Rainbow Nation. It will be available from the 14th of February 2019.

The book contains 13 chapters namely;

Chapter One: Proudly African

Chapter Two: Getting Started

Chapter Three: Fund Raising in South Africa

Chapter Four: Introduction to Digital Marketing

Chapter Five: Investment Resources and Options

Chapter Six: Mzantsi Entrepreneurs

Chapter Seven: Tourism Opportunities

Chapter Eight: Agriculture Opportunities

Chapter Nine: The Black Business Challenge

Chapter Ten: Youth Opportunities

Chapter Eleven: Women Entrepreneurs

Chapter Twelve: Risk Management

Chapter Thirteen: Soft Skills for Entrepreneurs

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Diaspora Matters

Career Advice for A Level Students

A Venn diagram of overlapping circles analyzing what are your sk

Congratulations to all students who have done well in their A level exams. What next after A level? We cover the advice we have given to one of our members.

Career Guidance: From Inbox
Good day people A level results of my young brother Maths A Chemistry B, Physics D,what is the best program that he can study,and please if they are any scholarship that can assist him please help inbox

Congrats to the young brother for doing well at A level. With 11 points its however a challenge to land scholarships. You can do more searches on the internet..check government websites and university websites for more information. Be careful of scammers especially those who ask you for funds upfront to process scholarships.

Local Options
The science world is ruling the world! Other fields are watching in disbelief as scientists take over everything! Lawyers are being disrupted by E-Law…Teaching by E-Education…The journalism school is counting losses from Social Media. Bankers are in trouble from E-Banking…In advanced countries they are even replacing humans with robots! In Japan they now have receptionists who are robots…

What are the driving factors?
The world moving at a faster pace…
Competition is stiff and if you dont innovate, you die.
Innovation in most cases means new technology…
Technology means…science subjects!
Technology is replacing traditional jobs…so more job losses.
Even in business, tech startups replacing traditional business power houses such as agriculture, oil and mining.
Agriculture is going tech…Technology is even replacing currencies through Bitcoins…very naughty!
Technology is accelerating globalisation. A company in Zim when sourcing products is now considering buying from China…we saw this during the election period…some had their campaign material sourced from China coz it was cheaper!

Technology is accelerating globalisation. A company in Zim when sourcing products is now considering buying from China…we saw this during the election period…some had their campaign material sourced from China coz it was cheaper!

What technological trends are shaping the future? They will impact the business landscape and rendering most fields obsolete…

He can go to local colleges and get degrees in medicine, engineering etc but local colleges are not moving fast enough in tandem with the rate of technological developments. So he needs to boost his employability chances by enrolling for foreign qualifications. Jobs may not be available by the time he graduates …so beef this up with entrepreneurship to give him more options.

So your starting point is understanding the direction the world is going and the skills that will be needed. The future is not in knowing obsolete technology like type writers. Research what else top colleges like Havard and Oxford are teaching and compare with local colleges and then plug the gap if one is to attend local colleges.

Hope this helps

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Diaspora Matters

Greetings from Beautiful Namibia


So we found ourselves making one of our longest trips to Windhoek a week before 2018 Christmas, how did it go? Awesome -learnt a lot from the trip and we believe our 2019 book edition on opportunities will be richer.

Traffic between Zimbabwe and Namibia
Traffic is lower than Zambia-Zimbabwe, Mozambique-Zimbabwe and SA-Zimbabwe but higher  than Bots-Zim.
Traffic is mostly for Zimbos travelling to Namibia for holiday and business purposes.
Traffic from Namibia made up of Namibians going for holiday to Vic Falls, Namibians attending church seminars, Namibians going to college in Gweru and Bulawayo. Religion tourism tops the list with PHD and a pastor called Ndlovu with a leading branch network in Namibia.

Zimbos in Namibia
Mostly professionals who emigrated in the last decade working in government departments and the private sector. Of late the number of Zimbos heading to Namibia has been on a low side due to  recession in the country-no new work permit renewals for foreigners.


 Most street vendors in Namibia are from Zimbabwe. They work hard to bring products to  Namibia for sale. Some from SA, Zambia, China, Turkey and Dubai. There is an interesting trend of  Zimbos who source goods from Namibia and load them onto buses and resell them in Angola! We witnessed this in Lesotho…Zimbos buying goods from SA and selling them in Maseru, Mafeteng and other places in Lesotho. This is a special breed of cross borders…beautiful model that protects /hedges one from currency volatilities.

Our entrepreneurship skills on the good side are helping to empower locals to also venture into cross border business especially imports from China and Middle East. On a bad side…we are littering foreign streets. Credit goes to our comrades from Namibia, they have created room for Zimbos to thrive …one wonders what the situation would have been if thousands of Zimbos had not been given space to operate and thrive on foreign soil?

Namibia Economy
The Namibian Dollar is pegged 1:1 to the SA Rand and during the week we were there we witnessed a strike by  pharmacy assistants who graduated in 2017 and 2018 have not secured jobs. Student leaders were threatening strike action after a 5% across the board tuition fee increment. There is pressure for government to reduce the wage bill for the 100 000 strong civil service.

Its costs on average US$100 to travel to Namibia and you can get buses from Roadport, Intercape. Buses available on Tuesday evening and Thursday evening. Other kombis are also available near Roadport. You can also choose AirNamibia with return tickets ranging from $260-$300. Interestingly AirNamibia posted losses …looks like the air industry is a difficult field for AirZim,Air Namibia and SAA.

The cost of accommodation ranges from US$30 to US$150 per night. Monthly rentals N$4.000 to N$10.000.

Namibia can be termed a mini South Africa due to many SA companies with a presence there. It however ranks higher than SA as it is more peaceful, clean and friendly.

Business Opportunities
: Thinking of returning back after retirement? Namibia is a stable country for investment. The weather is great, low crime rates, stable economy and easy access to the region.

Arts and Crafts: Tourism is booming across the region and Namibia is not spared. Our arts and crafts already enjoy a good brand and dominates the landscape. Think in terms of buying and selling in bulk and also setting up schools and colleges for teaching.

Level 11 Cross Borders: Study imports into Namibia and then find how you can also participate in the importation. Do not forget cross borders who buy from China and Middle Est and bring the products for sale in Namibia. Study Zimbos and Namibians who buy goods from Nambia and export them to new markets.

What can you buy for resale? Prices similar to RSA although distance can be a deterrent. Witnessed building materials such as paint being purchased. Business opportunities for vehicle transportation especially vehicle imports from UK and USA.

Our business
Connecting SADC entrepreneurs; We have achieved our objective of connecting SADC entrepreneurs from Lesotho, South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Our country is highly regarded in business circles due to hard work, integrity and innovation .Our objective of connecting regional entrepreneurs well on course. We trained them, inspired them, heard their stories and shared our experiences.

We are helping to set up various start-ups with entrepreneurs connected through e-platforms and sharing opportunity stories. We have done exceptionally well…been well received and we will start to profile stories of our successful graduates and members. The future is bright if Africans learn to work together and sharing information on opportunities.

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