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Technopreneurship Development Centre hosts motivational lectures

Leadership and Corporate Governance Seminar

A Leadership and Corporate Governance Seminar was recently held by the Technopreneurship Development Centre in collaboration with the HIT BOOST ENACTUS Team in preparation for the Ethics and Transparency competition for all national universities to be held before the end of this year. In his opening remarks, the chairman of the Technopreneurship Development Centre, Mr Mudamburi emphasized the importance of leadership and corporate governance in business management systems and practices stating that leadership cannot be taught in isolation.

“Leadership and corporate governance are complimentary items. If a company does not adhere to good corporate governance practices, there are no two ways about it. Capital will flow elsewhere”, he said Mr Mudamburi attributed the collapse of most companies in Zimbabwe to poor corporate governance practices. “Corporate governance applies primarily in the running of big companies as well as small companies”, he said Ms Tsitsi Mutasa from the Zimbabwe leadership Forum was invited to address the students and she delivered a presentation on the role of corporate governance and leadership in building sustainable business enterprises. “Corporate governance involves the need to put up systems and processes to ensure that businesses are run well”, she said.

She defined corporate governance as the mechanism through which boards and directors of companies are able to direct, monitor and supervise the conduct and operations of a business or any organization’s management. “Corporate governance ensures that the organisation has appropriate levels of authority, accountability, leadership, stewardship and control”, she said. Ms Mutasa also added that there is need to have sound leadership that has integrity, accountability, responsibility, and transparency in order to attain good corporate governance in any organisation. She encouraged students to be guided by good corporate governance practices in their endeavors to create and design the new world.

Corporate governance is becoming more complicated, sophisticated and is providing both greater opportunities and expectations for businesses. There are two types of drivers of corporate governance reform. One set of drivers is associated with failures and collapses. A more proactive set of drivers has much to do with companies’ and countries’ search for investment, the need to improve competitiveness, and gaining access to regional and international markets. Both have been responsible for increased attention paid to corporate governance over the past decade To understand how corporate governance is evolving and changing, there are a few important ideas that are critical for businesses.

Companies must not only implement general corporate governance practice but must focus on best practices in good corporate governance. A key element of good corporate governance is good risk management. Another key element of good corporate governance is managing a company’s reputation and how it is perceived in the global and local community. The BOOST Fellowship was founded in 2000 through the support of people from Zimbabwe, the UK and the USA after observing that while most schools and universities across the world generally provide a wide-ranging academic education, many students find themselves inadequately prepared for the opportunities and the challenges of the world beyond the classroom.

BOOST Fellowship, a non-profit making organisation, will hold an ethics and transparency competition for university students, in partnership with Delta Corporation before the end of the year running under the theme “Ethics and Corporate Governance. The initiative is aimed at promoting ethical behavior in individuals and organisations

Techies to Technopreneurs

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Ten techies from the Harare Institute of Technology have completed a three-month business incubation process aimed at transforming their technical prototypes into commercially and socially viable ventures.At an event to unveil the techies held at the National Art Gallery, under the theme "Techies to Technopreneurs", the Director of the HIT Technopreneurship Development Centre, Dr Maxwell Chanakira said that the business incubation process was very tough and demanding, but at the end of the process, they came up with sound business plans based on theory and fact and attractive to investors. "The market is there for these products by these young techies. We worked in partnership with Sandown, which offered mentoring and coaching, business plan refinement, market survey instruments and investor readiness.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) brought technical and advisory support coordination, seed funding and overall direction to the project", said Dr Chanakira. Speaking at the same event, HIT Vice Chancellor Eng. Q.C Kanhukamwe gave a thumbs-up for the project, adding that it was inspired by the HIT Mandate with dual aims of creating innovation and stimulating employment creation. " In three months these partners have imparted valuable business knowledge and skills to the graduates in the Information and Communications technologies sector. Vice Chancellor Eng. Q.C Kanhukamwe said that this is a meaningful collaborative partnership that gives hope to the young techies, imparting skills that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. "The Institute looks forward to strengthening this cooperation in future with all our partners", he said.

In November 2014, the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), Sandown Corporate Limited and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Zimbabwe jointly launched their first Business incubation Programme. The programme was housed at HIT and through a three months incubation process sought to support the young techies to transform their technical prototypes into commercially and socially viable ventures.

UNDP country representative, Verity Nyagah said the collaboration is an essential strategic partnership in advancing a key national development agenda. "This programme will not have been achieved if it wasn't for the collaboration and commitment by the partnership of HIT, Sandown Corporate, and UNDP. Through this collaboration, the young techies have been granted access to additional technical and mentoring skills. This is evidence of the high quality of the business plans they developed, and I am pleased to advise that the process of capital sourcing and investor engagement is now underway", she said.

Below is a listing of the ten prototypes:
1. Liliosa Mushonga – Energy Demand Prediction System
2. Emmanuel Isheunesu Madzokere – Electronic Shopping Cart: Case of InstifoodsTen techies from the Harare Institute of Technology have completed a three-month business incubation process aimed at transforming their technical prototypes into commercially and socially viable ventures.Ten techies from the Harare Institute of Technology have completed a three-month business incubation process aimed at transforming their technical prototypes into commercially and socially viable ventures.
3. Gresham Muradzikwa – An Android Mobile Based Payment System Using Quick Response (QR) Codes
4. Chenaimwoyo Nhema – Web Based Market Linkage System For Smallholder Farmers
5. Tendai Nyamugudza – Primary and Secondary Education Information Management System
6. Kudzai Shamba - Integrated System For Efficient Payment of Education Tuition Fees in Zimbabwe
7. Rumbidzai Jani – A Web Based Electronic Archiving System For Local Authourities
8. Kudakwashe Chifamba – Smart Home Automation System
9. Tinovimbanashe Maduku – A Supply Chain Management System For Retail Pharmacies
10. Edward Zengeni – Enterprise Application Integration Platform

Boost Fellowship 2014 Entrepreneurs Suite Challenge Launch

The 2014 Edition of the Boost Fellowship Entrepreneurs Suite Challenge was recently launched at the Harare Institute of Technology amid calls to provide young people with opportunities for mentoring, team creation, education and networking through various activities aimed at equipping them with the skills to generate business ideas, writing business plans and eventually start their own businesses. The 2014 Boost Fellowship Entrepreneurs Suite Challenge programme sponsored by CBZ Holdings seeks to provide young entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to turn innovative ideas into real businesses and building successful business enterprises for themselves and their communities.

In his welcome address, BOOST fellowship Board member, Mr P. Kadzere said that this programme brings together youths from high schools and universities to explore and venture into the world of entrepreneurship. "Our partnership strategy has been to transform the problem of youth unemployment and underemployment into an opportunity for wealth creation and social improvement by helping young entrepreneurs start their own viable businesses and the fellowship is looking forward to achieve this goal with this year’s edition", he said. Mrs S. Zakariya ,Executive director of the BOOST Fellowship.Mr L. Chidembo, Head of the Small Medium Enterprises (SME's) CBZ Bank LimitedGroup Cow Fresh, posing for a photograph after emerging the overall winner amongst the participating groups.Some of the students from various high schools and universities around the country attending the launch Mr Kadzere added that the challenge is designed to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs, financial, managerial leaders and innovators to help shape a successful future for our country and the continent.

The 2014 edition is looking to expand and reach more of Zimbabwe’s young people and cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit within them. This year’s fellowship is also looking forward to even more innovative and creative ideas coming from young people as they work to create successful futures for themselves through turning innovative ideas into real businesses. In a speech presented on his behalf, the HIT Vice Chancellor, Eng. Q.C Kanhukamwe expressed his gratitude for having been given the priviledge to host the launch of year’s edition of the Boost Fellowship Entrepreneurs Suite Challenge, an important national event which trains university and high school students to become entrepreneurs of note.

"I would like to thank the organisers of this event for making this conscious move to raise the standard of living amongst our youths by encouraging them where and when it matters most. This timely intervention awakens and inculcates the entrepreneurial spirit in our youths which spurs and gives them the stamina to venture into business, thus enabling our nation to address our micro economic objectives particularly as they relate to wealth and job creation", said the HIT Acting Vice Chancellor, Eng. Q.C Kanhukamwe. Eng. Q.C Kanhukamwe said he is confident that the selection of HIT as the host was prompted by HIT’s tag line "success through innovation", which dovetails with the theme of this year’s programme "innovation". "The HIT destiny, cause, calling is all about creating a culture that embraces and lives innovation. As a result we have deliberately established strategic centres within the Institute which promote innovation and technopreneurship", he said.

HIT has established a Technopreneurship Development Centre, which inculcates the technopreneurship ethos in its graduates with the aim of promoting the start-ups of high-tech entrepreneurs, business incubation, technology transfer and commercialization.

"All programmes at HIT must be viewed in the broader national context where our government has identified entrepreneurship through ZIMASSET as a cornerstone for economic turn around. Value addition is ne aspect in the ZIMASSET blue print that is achievable if entrepreneurship is deployed. You also recall that there is a government programme called Graduate Entrepreneurial and Employment Programme (GEEPP), which is targeting college, and university graduates by giving them opportunities to venture into business thus fighting unemployment among the youths. Therefore, we would like to thank the organizers of this event and CBZ Holdings for playing a pivotal role in this national developmental agenda", said the HIT Acting Vice Chancellor, Eng. Q.C Kanhukamwe.

CBZ Holdings also presented and handed over a cheque for US$55 000 as its sponsorship for this year’s edition, pledging to play a pivotal role in the growth of our economy and is looking forward to increasing their contribution in entrepreneurship development programmes in Zimbabwe. The BOOST FELLOWSHIP Entrepreneurs Suite Challenge has been extended to high school students as well. Entrepreneurship is a viable option for our young people to secure successful careers and the earlier that the students are taught entrepreneurship skills, the more likely they are to consider entrepreneurship as a possible career as they forge their carrier paths at the end of high school.

During the launch four groups were chosen to take part in the Challenge, where they were given the task to come up with innovative business ideas in various sectors of the economy for presentation to a panel of judges and the audience. According to Mr. L. Chidembo, Head of the Small Medium Enterprises (SME’s) CBZ Bank Limited most of the groups business proposals were quite bankable. However, the group which proposed to manufacture and sell an extra ordinary air freshener called Cow Fresh, which is made from cow dung won the hearts of the audience and the judges emerging the overall winner amongst the participating groups.

In her closing remarks, the Executive director of the BOOST Fellowship, Mrs S. Zakariya reiterated the need for innovative thinking particularly among the young generation. "I would like to thank CBZ Holdings for giving young people this platform because it is through these platforms that young people are going to turn their innovative ideas to become reputable entrepreneurs like Strive Masiyiwa, Nigel Chanakira and Bill Gates. It starts from creative innovative thinking in line with the strengths and capabilities that you have", she said.

Student scoops the boost Enactus fellow of the year award

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