SEVENTEEN Zimbabwean entrepreneurs have been selected among a group of 1 000 to undergo a mentorship training programme run by Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu.

Ogylive Tatendaishe Makova

The 17 Zimbabweans will join other entrepreneurs drawn from across Africa.

They will use the skills gained to develop a business plan, after which they become eligible to receive up to $10 000 in seed capital to develop their business concepts.

The entrepreneurs from Zimbabwe include Andrew Nyambiya (waste management), Anthony Mutanga (commercial/retail), Charles Mutsinze (manufacturing), Faith Kudakwashe Nyamukapa (education and training), Farirai Mageza (agri-business, farming), Jacob Masimba Shamuyarira (financial services), Kudzanai Admire Chitiva (energy/power generation), Linda Makaza-Adimora (commercial/retail) and Lindani Maphosa (fashion).

The list also includes Lipian Bongani Mtandabari (tourism/ hospitality), Manyara Mercy Chigunduru (professional services), Ogylive Tatendaishe Makova (professional services), Rudo Nondo (fashion), Simbarashe Absolom Murondoti (ICT), Taonachiedza Kambasa Karonga (construction), Tendai Garwe (media and entertainment) and Thelmah Rangarirayi Chandafira (energy/power generation).

In 2015, TEF made a commitment of $100 million to empower 10 000 entrepreneurs in 10 years.

Over 93 000 applied for the 2017 programme. A beneficiary of the mentorship programme, Freddie Shava, has struck gold after founding African Heritage Clothing — a garment manufacturing firm in Ghana.

Another beneficiary and founder of Made in Africa, Ogylive Tatendaishe Makova said the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme was a good example of a home-grown initiative trying to solve African challenges through entrepreneurship.

“I am glad that www.madeinafricagroup.com was chosen as one of the winners as it is going to be a catalyst in facilitating entrepreneurship and youth employment,” Makova said.

“Our online workplace makes it easier for African professionals to connect easily with local and international clients. As you may be aware, yesterday over 200 African migrants are feared to have drowned crossing the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe. On that list include professionals who could have contributed positively to their home country. Hence with the internet penetration growing faster in Africa than before, Made in Africa shall break the geographical boundaries and reduce the brain drain as people can work from anywhere now.”