Entrepreneurship and Industrialization in Zimbabwe (Part 2)


Business Opinion: BY FARAI CHIGORA

In the first part, we presented the concept of PEOPLE (politics, ecological, organization, practitioners, leadership, education) as one of the in-house solutions to simulate the spirit and practice of entrepreneurship.

This week, we take an in-depth look at the local model and focus on policy, unveiling the implications it has for defining and stimulating the art of entrepreneurship.

“Politics” in the PEOPLE model refers to the establishment of rules and regulations that are essential as they stimulate or hinder the adoption of entrepreneurship in a country.

In Zimbabwe, this is essential to bring common sense into the operation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as a call for industrialization.

Suffice it to note that there is a need for consistency and uniformity in the application of discipline and smooth management of future and growing businesses.

This defines the investment climate in the country, which can be either favorable or hostile. In other jurisdictions, they talk about the ease of doing business.

If Zimbabwe is to achieve its so-called Vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle class economy by the same year, then SME-friendly policies that allow responsive finance, cost of capital, investment stability and an equally responsive financial services and insurance sector. is essential in this regard.

Obviously, policies are essential in the daily synthesis aimed at improving the equity of SMEs, in accordance with the 10 commandments of the Bible that if they are followed, they guarantee one more year of life.

Why not apply the same in industrialization through entrepreneurship?

Businesses are a strong personality who must play by the rules of the game for sustainable growth and survival in the complex and dynamic global village.

Obviously, there are three main economic agents in a nation namely household (charity starts at home), businesses / industries (where SMEs exist) and government (as the creator of policies) with each influenced and affected by policies for good business practice.

It is necessary for entrepreneurs to make a habit of influencing the policies of their country, as this has a direct bearing on how their investments should work and shape the growth trajectory of the whole country.

It is no longer enough for today’s entrepreneur to be a single policy maker, but to be an active actor in the whole process of policy formulation and implementation.

This is so because entrepreneurship is the result of consolidated policies rather than just business ideas.

This to an unavoidable extent is perfectly correlated with the principle of good corporate governance which is composed of six pillars, namely the rules of law, moral integrity, responsibility, participation, responsibility and the obligation to render account, effectiveness and efficiency. The concern lies in the stubborn and willful ignorance of most upcoming companies to accept and comply with policies without focusing on the overwhelming need to influence their birth and form.

This not only forces the government to try to enforce a practice, but creates more sanctions enforced by law rather than collaborative synergies between government and business owners as entrepreneurs would not feel to own the policies.

It destroys a culture of constructivism and Ubuntu not only in the positive development of enterprises, but also in building a dynamic economy.

Simply put, the role of government in enterprise and industrialization should be to provide advice, finance and ideas through policy rather than prosecute lawless operators. Start-ups and growing entrepreneurs should therefore work closely with government not only to comply with policies, but also to share experiences and provide advice on crucial development issues.

It is the opposite in our environment where there is an imbalance because many entrepreneurs are more in the game of cat and mouse by avoiding policies that they believe are imposed on them, or are inconsistent and rather an instinctive response to save the failing economy.

In this challenge, the long-term image of establishing a solid foundation for the SME growth framework has been lost in translation due to the pace at which things are changing, with industry feeling that policy proposals are the result of serendipity rather than a structure and a solid stimulation of industrialization and entrepreneurial growth.

On the other hand, the reason there is a stigma of policies in the entrepreneurial fraternity is the complexity and the technical approach in prescribing policies which are very difficult for the majority to decode.

There is a need for a simplified approach in prescribing policies by decision makers.

This is because most of our entrepreneurs have a basic education.

The policies are then perceived by them as difficult to understand like a prospectus of life intended for the geniuses informed in economy, even to the econometrics.

My take on the aforementioned discussions is to rewire the creation of policies into a more interactive and shared approach to industrialized entrepreneurship.

Basically, it is necessary to have “political education” from primary school level to higher and higher education.

Regular engagements with local communities are necessary through workshops and training on the basic operationalization of entrepreneurial and economic development policies.

In collaboration, there is a need for simplified, common and industry-specific start-up policy guides to learn and prepare for the necessary compliance.

For start-up and growing entrepreneurs, it is important to adhere to government policies and seek new knowledge about adoption and compliance with governance policies specified for the industry to which they belong.

Common mistakes that have deterred entrepreneurship from industrializing include:

  • Tax avoidance and evasion;
  • Corruption in operations and trade;
  • Deliberate ignorance for the understanding of policies;
  • Operate without regulatory documents and without authorization;
  • Not having clear standard operating procedures (SOPs) in accordance with the policies in force;
  • Do not have accreditations by local and international regulatory bodies such as SAZ and ISO certification.

Therefore, failing to understand a holistic approach to existing policies like the current National Development Strategy 1 and the specified operational policies will derail Vision 2030.

  • Dr Farai Chigora is a businessman and scholar. He is the Head of Business Sciences at the College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University. His doctoral research focused on business administration. He is in the food industry and consults for many companies in Zimbabwe and Africa. He writes in a personal capacity and can be contacted for comments and business at [email protected], WhatsApp mobile: +263772886871.

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