Home > General > Social Enterprise Zimbabwe- The real heroes

Social Enterprise Zimbabwe- The real heroes

As I travel around Zimbabwe there is something that glares at me in the face. It is not the dilapidated buildings and potholes that hit me in the face. It is the way that people’s hearts are calloused and they only really think about themselves. The orphans go unnoticed, the beggars, widows, poor all go unnoticed. We look down with disgust and stay as far away as possible, because we are too good to associate with them. The class system has found its way back into our society.

I grew up in a beautiful Zimbabwe, where Harare was known as the sunshine city and was the cleanest city in the world.  I’d like to see the former glory of Zimbabwe restored with its people lifted from poverty. When I grew up, there were no street kids on the roads begging for money, no people surviving on one meal a day, no professional people doing menial jobs in Zimbabwe or abroad. I know that it is possible to get back to that place, where Zimbabwe is no longer the basket case of Africa but the bread basket of Africa.

One person can make a difference. If only more of us would get together and make a difference, we would do so much more. In Africa we expect the government to solve all our problems, in the West individuals don’t wait for the government to solve problems, they become the solution to the problem. As African’s we can choose to wait for the government to do something, or for NGO’s to do something or we can take the future into our own hands and do something ourselves. This doesn’t abdicate the government from its responsibilities, but when society and government work together we can do more.

Enter the social Entrepreneur

One way of taking the future into your hands is to start a social enterprise. A social enterprise is a business with more than a conscience. It is a business whose primary focus is to solve social problems. Instead of just running a business profitably and then pocketing all the profits, a social enterprise commits a good proportion of profits to solve social problems. Zimbabwe has needs everywhere, poverty, hunger, transportation, roads, education, schools, clinics, HIV and Aids, orphans and widows. All these areas need innovative solutions and innovators who will grab the bull by the horns and do something. Strive Masiyiwa can be classed as a social entrepreneur because his Capernaum Trust educates orphans in Zimbabwe and he personally raises a lot of money for social causes around Africa.

The Social Entrepreneur is like Batman, Spider-man, Jet Li, Chuck Norris , James Bond or Jean Claude Van Damme. My nephews and nieces would say BEN TEN!!!! They are quick to the rescue and can solve the problem. When something gets stuck, they get it unstuck, when something goes wrong, they run to the rescue. Society believes in them and counts on them to get down to the bottom of a problem. They are there when we need them and always get rid of the problem!!!Social Entrepreneurs are our real life heroes!!!

With only 5% of the population in formal employment, the government does not have the resources to bring about much change. Even if the government wanted to deliver services, they cannot afford to. Shall we then wait for the funds to make their way into the government coffers before we see change? We could be waiting a long time before that happens. No government can do it all. The only way to change things is to take responsibility. It is up to us, those on the ground to become the solution that we want to see.

If your local clinic isn’t functioning and needs supplies, how about doing something about it. It’s sad that it is not Africans at the forefront of most help Africa campaigns. We’d rather wait for foreigners and NGO’s to come and give us water and build schools and send our children to school. Better still, we’ll apply for jobs with the NGO’s doing such work, earn huge salaries and drive big cars. When shall we start our own organizations that do such great work? We should have the passion and the drive to solve our own problems.

Categories: General
  1. Egneta Mlambo
    September 17, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Well my dear writer, you views are excellent, but the big problem especially in Zimbabwe is the control from the political arena. Remember what Strive Masiiwa went through to become a big provider of telephone lines. Many people want to help, but the politics of Zimbabwe make people reluctant. Can you help with an idea on how one can penetrate into doing social enterprise business or a charity without being investigated. Those at the top are the main problem, because when I said I wanted to help orphans and disabled people, their minds think (paita chibhanzi, todavo kupinda). They don’t get enough o money, they want more and more and its discouraging many people h overseas from starting a project that helps the poor and vulnerable. Help me if you have a better idea on how one can start something without government’s negative intervention.

    • September 18, 2011 at 10:44 am

      Thank you so much for your comment. I totally agree with you. the political climate makes it is very difficult to do anything, whether non profit, for profict, social or anything. We’ve been doing this Zimdev project for a while now but it is not moving as fast as it should because of restrictions and a whole lot of challenges that you can imagine. I’ve just decided to forge on ahead and not look at the problem but find a way out of the problem.

      There is so much need here in Zimbabwe, but the challenges are enormous. However we can’t let the challenges put us off or deter us from doing what is in our hearts and abililty to. With regards to types of projects to run, my suggestion would be to partner with someone or an organisation that has already broken into the work you are interested in. Maybe you can join forces with those who are step ahead so that you don’t have to go through all the red tape and save yourself the hassle of going through what they have had to go through.
      There are many many opportunities to give, contribute and make a difference. We just need to look with different eyes.

      All the best and dont give up.

  2. Dombo
    January 14, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Hi ZimDev!

    Hey i stumbled upon your site and i am enjoying your articles. i am a local entreprenuer seeking to connect with others of like minds can you contact me directly so we can exchange notes at times, please?

    • Charles
      May 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Am looking for enterprenuers interested in farming.Farm is about 810hecares.Annualy we get hunting Quotas. Apart from safari there is plenty water and was looking for partners to start Aqua Culture ie start with Fish farming then eventialy croc farming.about 20 hectares is arable for either sugarcane or potatoes as there is flood irrigation. Anyone interested? Call 0772277778.God bless………

      • May 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        Sounds like you have an interesting opportunity. Thank you for posting.

      • May 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm

        I’ll post it on our opportunities page.

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