EY launches Business Accelerator Programme in Zimbabwe

21 December 2017 Consultancy.africa 2 min. read

Global Professional Services firm EY has launched its Business Accelerator Programme in Zimbabwe, with the objective of encouraging entrepreneurship. The programme hopes to equip entrepreneurs with the strategic business acumen to become successful.

Well before the entire continent of Africa entered its most recent slowdown, Zimbabwe was navigating through severe levels of economic strife. The country entered an economic meltdown more than a decade ago in 2003, forcing thousands of businesses to shut down. By 2008, the unemployment rate in the country had reached a staggering 94%.

After a slow period of recovery over the next decade, the country entered another slowdown in 2016, this time in tandem with the rest of Africa, as oil prices plummeted to less than $35 a barrel. Last month, the country saw its leader of 37 years, Robert Mugabe, resign under pressure from his party and the wider public.

In years to come, the economy of Zimbabwe is entering a period of relative uncertainty, and the key to stability – much like in the rest of Africa – is the fostering of the business community. Although the economy is in slowdown, businesses in Africa are doing their best to breed optimism around the market and encourage investment.In addition, the future of the continent looks promising, in light of rapid digitalisation and favourable demographic trends. Now, in order to help foster local enterprise in Zimbabwe, Big Four professional Services firm EY has launched its Business Accelerator Programme (BAP) in the country.

The BAP is a customised programme, which is aimed at spreading technical knowhow and business strategy amongst its participants. In addition, the programme creates a forum for dialogue amongst executives, thereby promoting the exchange of ideas and latest market trends. The participants were selected based on indications of motivation to grow and expand their business.

These young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet well established executives, who will serve as mentors. The programme is planned over a period of one year, and will tackle a number of key challenges currently plaguing the economy in Zimbabwe, such as access, financing, corporate governance and investment.

Commenting on the launch of the program, Head of Advisory for Central Africa, Nqaba Mkwananzi said, “This year-long programme is aimed at empowering entrepreneurs to think bigger, learn from their peers and find seasoned advisors. We know that access to successful role models and business-building networks is critical for entrepreneurs to accelerate growth. As a leader in advising, guiding and recognising entrepreneurs, EY knows that access to successful role models and business building networks is crucial for entrepreneurs to accelerate growth,”