Addressing the entrepreneurship vacuum

Banc ABC MD Lance Mambondiani

The entrepreneurship terrain is continuously being diluted by lazy minds fond of copying and pasting ideas without refinement, improving or editing them.

his is a group that calls themselves entrepreneurs confusing the masses on the real definition of entrepreneurship and thus creating a vacuum for real entrepreneurs.

It is common knowledge that there is a myriad of entrepreneurship definitions which have been proffered to date, but there are distinct features that must not be sacrificed in the process, which are, innovation, new business, value addition, risk and profit.

I am glad that within the last two years, there have been a recollection of minds with a focus on redefining the true tenets of entrepreneurship within different spaces with the intention of filling in the vacuum.

The entrepreneurship forums and discussions currently underway globally will surely bear fruit as there is visible support from the early entrepreneurs who have taken it upon themselves to support the upcoming generation. There is visible institutional support in the form of finance houses offering entrepreneurship support to the new breed of entrepreneurs.

Dr Lance Mambondiani, the CEO of BancABC in Zimbabwe is among institutional leaders who have pledged support to innovative entrepreneurship initiatives which is a big plus in the direction of the upcoming entrepreneurs.

It is now incumbent upon those with a burning desire to make a difference in the entrepreneurship fraternity to passionately pursue their unique inventions and innovations with the ultimate aim of producing global corporations capable of transforming the world.

As a way of stimulating the entrepreneurship mind in many, I will share in this piece, steps to becoming an entrepreneur. This forms a sure way of collectively closing the entrepreneurship vacuum.

Six steps to becoming an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship stories that speak of how the world’s renowned entrepreneurs carved their niches are abound, but within all these narratives, there are clear and traceable steps that one can take to becoming an entrepreneur. Remember, entrepreneurs are made and not born. This though can be debatable and is a discussion for another day.

Opportunity identification (Gap)

Entrepreneurship is a business which entails solving people’s problems for money. As the world keeps on its axis, there is bound to be change which is inevitable. Change brings with it its own unique challenges (gaps) which call for unique solutions (services and products).

Entrepreneurs, unlike ordinary business men and women have a unique way of identifying and attacking socio economic challenges. They are quick at converting challenges into business opportunities. Identifying an opportunity is the first step. So if you are able to identify an opportunity and end there, you are far from being or becoming an entrepreneur. You need to progressively move along all the stages until you complete the whole process. After problem or opportunity identification, you move to the next stage which is endowment assessment.

Endowment assessment

At this stage you check whether you are resourced enough to come up with a ground breaking solution for the gap, opportunity or challenge bewildering the market. In one of my entrepreneurship articles, I wrote about the issues of your qualifications, profession, expertise and passion as key endowments that can help you establish your entrepreneurship endeavour.

Dr Strive Masiyiwa worked in the telecoms industry and garnered a lot of experience in the area. He used his expertise and experience to close the gap he found in the Zimbabwean telecoms industry then and Econet came to life.

There are instances where the opportunity that has presented itself in the market doesn’t speak to your qualifications, profession or experience. If you’re convinced that indeed it’s a great opportunity and you can assemble experts to work with you to tackle that opportunity, you can still emerge an entrepreneur if at the end of the day a business is established.

Business idea generation

All great businesses world over started as an idea in someone’s mind. Armed with the market opportunity information and your endowments, generate a business idea that combines these two aspects.

Entrepreneurs do not engage in critical thinking for fun, they think for solutions. They scan the market for opportunities and align these with their endowments. Business idea generation is a critical factor in the making of an entrepreneur.

Innovation is central in this ideation process. The quality of your business ideas and the craftiness involved in generating these determines the type and strength of business that comes out.

Not every cloud that appears in the sky gives out rain. Of all the clouds that can cover the sky, only the nimbus type produces rain. The same goes with business ideas. Not all business ideas give birth to great businesses. Some just come as accompanying officers safeguarding the business producing idea.

Business plan generation

A business plan is a strategic document that seeks to give a business idea life by detailing every aspect of the business in terms of operational relationships, activities, objectives, strategies core business and a budget.

Entrepreneurship is a domain for the organised. You don’t rush into doing things without proper planning. Poor planning promotes poor performance. Entrepreneurs are exceptional performers and thus the need to plan their work before any action is taken.

Your unique business idea must taste the beauty of ink and paper before actualisation. Planning precedes execution.

Funding your business plan

An unfinanced business plan will always suffer a still birth. You need to invest money to earn money. Money unlocks money. Those that are privy to large sums of money can start big, but it’s always good to start small and enjoy every step of the growth process for there are many crucial business lessons to learn along the way.

Some start from own savings while others borrow in order to start on their entrepreneurship journey. We have a good number of great entrepreneurs who had to sell some of their possessions to start their businesses. On borrowing, be mindful of punitive rates which will send you to the business graveyard in your infancy.

Unique execution of

your business plan

Entrepreneurship entails an innovative approach to starting and running a unique business venture bearing all the risks involved in anticipation of a profit. The key words are starting and running which speaks of execution.

Ordinary business people conform to the ordinary ways of doing business while entrepreneurs challenge the processes by introducing new ways which brings in new products and services. There is a great deal of executional uniqueness in entrepreneurship.

Zimbabwe, Africa and the world at large needs more entrepreneurs on board to fill in the entrepreneurship vacuum that currently exists. We have more copy and paste type of entrepreneurs who fall far below the meaning and sense of the word. You too can become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are made and not born.

The writer, Dr Kudzanai Vere is an entrepreneur, author and transformational speaker in the areas of entrepreneurship and personal development. He was nominated among Zimbabwe’s Iconic Men of the Decade, Entrepreneurship Coach of the year 2020. For your entrepreneurship coaching and mentoring, you can contact him on +263719592232 or email coaching

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