By Fadzai Mathabire
The Eight2Five Innovation Hub powered by Old Mutual has partnered with British Council Zimbabwe to offer young entrepreneurs an opportunity to drive their resilient and innovative pro-climate startups to prosperity. Phase 2 of the flagship program was launched yesterday (Friday, 14 May 2021) through Eight2Five Innovation Hub social media platforms. The VCC, which is arguably Zimbabwe’s biggest opportunity for entrepreneurs, officially opens the application platform from the 14th of May through to the 25th of June 2021. Ambitious youth with start-ups offering sustainable solutions towards climate change effects are encouraged to apply and stand a chance to get up to USD $25,000 in seed capital, 6 months’ rent free office space and other business development services.
At the recent youth dialogue meeting on Nationally Determined Contributions enhancement process held in Harare, young people expressed the need for more opportunities to finance their green businesses. One thing that is almost true for all the characters in the climate action field is that it’s not just about the business but saving humanity and its home. This is why it is prominent to take action and support green businesses. Organisations like African Youth Initiative on Climate Change Zimbabwe and the Climate Change Management Department under the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry (MECTHI) have since been active in driving the course. Zimbabwe has seen the rise of youth owned businesses providing sustainable solutions to social and environmental challenges. However, such innovations do not always get the funding opportunities they require therefore clipping the wings of youth innovation. Opportunities like this encourage innovation while providing mentorship and financial solutions, both vital for growth.
Female entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate in this year’s VCC, with applications also invited from startups building innovations on data analytics, emerging tech, digital storytelling and youth centred businesses. The program, which will run from mid-May through to November, will see participants taking part in workshops, bootcamps and pitch sessions. Please follow Eight2Five Innovation Hub on social media for more information about the challenge.