HARARE – In a study carried out by Tech Hub Harare between January 2019 to May 2020, over 250 Zimbabwe based startups indicated that attracting funding into their ventures was the hardest challenge that was preventing them from reaching the promised land.
The situation has since deteriorated with the coming in of Covid-19 since March 2020.
But that is rarely the only problem they face.
The same study highlighted that apart from lack of funding, 75% of the 250 startups were
working on their idea from home and had no access to affordable office space. Only 6.2% were working from a co-working space. Reliable, let alone affordable internet access remains a challenge for many startup founders. Less than 50% of the respondents have a reliable internet connection.
Other challenges facing startup founders include lack of markets, access to training courses, mentorship and marketing. The majority of startups are failing to move forward because they fail to access professional services on time and at the right price. Projects then get dropped because of poor project scoping and the lack of a clear peer review mechanism. Startups lose out and the problem repeats time and time again and this is affecting the number of start-ups that make it to the big stage in Zimbabwe.
On the software development front, many Startups keep running into the same problem of
hiring professionals who abandon projects before they are complete because they have found a new better paying project or because they have found greener pastures or because they took on more than they could chew. Startups build on platforms that don’t scale and therefore fail to take advantage of market opportunities when they become available. Deadlines are not met and there is really very little a startup can do because they don’t have the resources to find remedies. This hurts the development of startups in Africa.
This is why Tech Hub Harare decided to launch its Startup Incubation programme to help
startup founders with the office space and tools they need to develop their ventures. Under the 26 week long programme startup founders go through the process of developing their idea to a rock solid business supported by our partners. They get business and technical support which helps them develop faster.
Speaking on the programme Simba Mswaka said, “This is an exciting programme that
solves a real pain facing many startup founders today. Progress is slow because startups are finding it difficult to move to the next level because they have no access to the resources they need to grow. Tech Hub is here to change that. We have created this programme to solve that problem and help startups grow. ”
“In many cases start-ups also fail because they are not approaching their venture with the
right approach, tools and guidance. We are here to hold their hand and build them to a level where they are ready to attract the right investors that they need to move on to the next step.”
In other ecosystems startups get free support from big organisations and through corporate and international partnerships, Tech Hub will help local startups benefit from international experiences and resources.
The startup incubation programme will be run over 26 weeks and will culminate with a pitch competition or demo day where up to 4 startups will stand a chance to present their startup to prospective investors and get investment. The incubation programme solves many of the challenges being faced by many startups today.
About Tech Hub Harare
Tech Hub Harare is a co-working space built with startups in mind. Tech Hub supports
these startups with space, internet, training, mentorship, networking opportunities and the
right community which encourages startup founders to grow into big businesses. Startups
share their knowledge and experiences through weekly meetups. Tech Hub provides a
platform on which like minded individuals who are hungry to grow their startups meet
and collaborate on their ideas. Our members come from all over the world and meet to