Diaspora Matters

Entrepreneurship Lessons From Engineers


Every entrepreneur needs to have a friend, partner or a mentor who is an engineer and this is because business is going through a digital transformation. When you talk of digital transformation, then the first field that is affected is engineering. Way back it used to be finance people controlling business but the power was taken by engineers who are now leading all new business innovations.

The best example of how engineers helped entrepreneurship

When it comes to investment-finance people think of capital first. How much capital is available for investment and then apply investment models such as NPV, IRR, ARR and Payback. When you start with capital, the weakness that you will encounter is that your thinking is restricted by amount of capital available. If $10.000 is available, then you cannot come up with ideas above the $10.000 threshold.

Engineer’s Perspective: Engineers came up with a reverse model to investment. Realising the shortcomings of the above model-they came up with a model that starts with markets with capital coming last. Coming up with markets means that your thinking is not restricted and you can come up with more investment options or ideas than the finance people model. After coming up with ideas that are not restricted by capital, one can therefore end with the capital question where you can consider the following options;

  1. Raising funds from bank loans
  2. Raising funds through crowdfunding
  3. Raising funds through partnerships
  4. Raising funds through salary advances
  5. Raising funds through donor funds
  6. Raising funds through government funds.

So engineers made investment easy for entrepreneurs-the one with access to markets is King, so the focus of business should first be on markets and not finance.

Other contributions to the finance field by engineers

Balanced scorecard model

Kaizen theory

Total Quality Management

Digital Marketing

Big Data Analysis

Six Sigma

So make sure you have an engineer in your team and use their expertise and apply to the business world. Now does this make sense why the richest person in Zimbabwe is an engineer? Not surprising because the future of business is technologically driven.

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Diaspora Matters

New City for Zimbabwe Proposed


Have you been to Harare lately and witnessed traffic congestion? Driving on Harare streets is now a nightmare especially during peak hours. The number of registered cars is estimated to be 700.000 and they keep rising everyday with new imports of mostly second hand cars coming from Japan. What is the future going to be like in 5-10 years time? If town planners and policy makers do not take drastic measures then Harare will be like Nairobi or Dare-salaam where during peak hours travelers can spend more than 3 hours in traffic jams to travel distances of less than 30 kilometres.

Anticipating more traffic trouble, our forum discussed about the possibility of a new city which is far from Harare and Selous is one of the places proposed.

Selous Proposal

Advantages of Selous

Access to land |Access to water |Access to railway transport |Access to busy highway| 73 kilometers from Harare

How about a  modern city that can become a technological hub for Zimbabwe-our own Silicon valley? We can invite private land developers to develop high class residential and commercial buildings. Top colleges to set up campuses, top ICT giants to set up warehouses, amusement parks, top Hotels and Conference centers, financial institutions, world class shopping malls etc

A modern city built in post independence Zimbabwe showcasing the brilliance of Zimbos. Who can fund the built up of the city?
1. Multinational companies
2. Diasporans
3. Locals (individuals and groups)
4. Local institutions, Old Mutual, NSSA and other financial institutions.

So no one can really say the Government has no money because its role will be to provide the strategic direction, provision of legislative framework, provision of the land and  other resources.

We take advantage of the Export Processing Zone concept and develop a city that is anchored on the services economy. The nearby Chengeta Safari lodge means there is more room for tourism.

Who benefits?
We can spend the whole day talking of benefits but think in terms of a regional powerhouse for commercial services. Contribution to the economy, job creation, forex generation, employment creation. All of this without taking funds from the treasury!

This has been an issue we have been talking about for several decades but little done to date. We are still exporting raw materials to Durban, how about inviting investors to set up plants here?

Remember we are not saying we should abandon investment in other regions but this can be a great model which can be replicated across the country.


If the concept seems far fetched then look at the Catembe Bridge under construction in Mozabique. It is creating new opportunities on an island across Maputo.

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