BARCLAYS Bank on Wednesday launched its BOOST(Building Opportunities on Student Talent) Fellowship, where young entrepreneurs receive mentorship on various aspects of business development, marketing and funding.
Launched in the capital, the year-old programme is mainly based on the global standard incubation programme that has been successful in over 20 countries.
In essence, BOOST Barclays Incubation, which targets young entrepreneurs between 20 and 35 years, provides comprehensive support for fledgling businesses to accelerate and systemise their businesses.
Incubation hubs for entrepreneurs will be set up in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Masvingo.
At the end of the programme, 100 entrepreneurs will be selected to pitch at a final prize giving ceremony that will be announced at a later date.
Overall, the programme, which provides skills such as business development, marketing and funding, is free.
The launch programme – moderated by Nico Abote – challenged the entrepreneurs to give a 30 second “elevator pitch” on the inspiration and target market of their business.
There were budding entrepreneurs from agriculture to media.
Barclays chief executive officer Mr George Guvamatanga urged entrepreneurs to innovate instead of plagiarising.
He also encouraged businesses to produce products that help in substituting imports.