ENTREPRENEURS HOLD KEY TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SAYS COMMERCE MINISTER
More than 30 business executives and entrepreneurs impart their wisdom
Lusaka, Zambia – Zambia needs to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in order to develop the economy, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe told delegates at the Nyamuka Zambia National Business Conference in Lusaka today (July 30).
“Many economies in the West have been built on the back of entrepreneurs like yourselves, and it’s our belief as government that the role of entrepreneurs, SMEs and big businesses is to work hand in hand with us to create jobs and generate wealth for all our citizens,” said the Minister, who was guest of honour at the event.
“I would like to commend PEPZ, of which Nyamuka is a part, for their efforts in enhancing productivity and Zambia’s private sector. PEPZ is contributing towards the strengthening of the capacity of micro, small and medium enterprises for economic growth in our country.”
Budding entrepreneurs, including the 60 semi-finalists in the Nyamuka Zambia business plan competition, took part in the high profile event at the Mulungushi International Convention Centre under the theme ‘Entrepreneurship for Job Creation, Business Success and Profitability’.
Some 30 experts from the world of business and commerce lead entrepreneurs through the lessons they had learned and their tips for success.
In opening the conference with Mrs Mwanakatwe, Acting British High Commissioner Sean Melbourne told delegates: “Ladies and gentlemen, the businesses leaders here today are courageous. They have overcome insurmountable obstacles to attain their success and have picked themselves up time-after-time. They have decided to help the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs by giving them advice on how they too can move ahead in spite of despair.”
Keynote speaker Justin Chinyanta shared his story of how he built his Loita Group from a start-up to a successful multinational operation.
“As the Minister said, no other person is going to develop this country except ourselves. We as Zambians have a great opportunity through entrepreneurship to create structures that go hand in hand with the government’s development programme. Entrepreneurs need to focus their business but they should not forget they are in business to make money.”
The Nyamuka Zambia National Business Conference was a key part of the Nyamuka Zambia Business Plan Competition, which seeks to unleash entrepreneurial talent across Zambia and to promote diversity, especially by encouraging more women and young people to enter the entrepreneurial space in Zambia.
The competition was launched in March, receiving an overwhelming response with more than 550 people applying, from which 60 semi-finalists were selected last month to go forward to the next stage of the competition. The business conference celebrates their success in getting so far.
The business conference provides entrepreneurs with the building blocks to move their businesses to the next level and transform them into sustainable enterprises that will create jobs, wealth, and contribute towards the growth of Zambian economy, explained Nyamuka Zambia Manager Shalin Jethi.
The conference brought together entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises to enrich their business journeys, helping them move towards becoming the transformative enterprises of tomorrow that can go on to create sustainable jobs and wealth to help grow the national economy.
During the one-day event business experts and leading entrepreneurs shares their knowledge, skills and tools to enable participants to go away equipped and motivated for success. This was done by networking, interacting with captains of industry and successful entrepreneurs as well as through interactive learning panel discussions and expert sessions.
The Nyamuka National Business Conference also provides a platform for conference-goers, including semi-finalists, other entrepreneurs and growth-orientated SMEs, to interact with each other actively learning from each other’s experiences.
The Nyamuka Zambia conference and the business plan competition is part of the Private Enterprise Programme – Zambia (PEPZ), a five year initiative funded by the UKAID that strives to enhance productivity and competitiveness in Zambia’s private sector by strengthening the capacity of micro, small and medium enterprises to deliver inclusive economic growth.
Conference sponsors include ZANACO, the Zambia Development Agency, the Lusaka Chamber of Commerce and Cavmont Bank.