Bulawayo Tech Hub open day connects budding entrepreneurs

By Ndumiso Tshuma

The Bulawayo Tech Hub, a co-working space and incubator, hosted its inaugural Startup Founders’ Open Day, on Thursday, bringing together aspiring entrepreneurs for a day of learning and connection.

The event attracted a diverse crowd of entrepreneurs, startup founders, and industry experts. It focused on providing valuable resources to Bulawayo’s startup scene, with sessions on creating brand identity, incorporating AI into businesses, and effective data management.

The Hub’s management team, led by Co-Founder Victoria Nxumalo, noted the importance of supporting young Bulawayo entrepreneurs who often lack the necessary resources to succeed.

“Being an entrepreneur is different from being self-employed,” Nxumalo explained. “Entrepreneurship involves collaboration and overcoming challenges. We’re here to help startups develop marketing strategies, navigate the market, and adapt to economic changes.”

Nxumalo explained that the program was designed for close interaction with startups, offering guidance on launching and growing their businesses.

“We differentiate between self-employment and entrepreneurship,” Nxumalo said. “Self-employment is relying solely on yourself for income, while entrepreneurship is a challenging journey that involves many people. You need mental resilience. We can help with marketing strategies, market navigation – it’s our market, and we know how to navigate it. We understand the new ZiG currency, so we can help you adjust budgets and costs, and connect you with suppliers.”

The Bulawayo Tech Hub offers affordable membership options for startup founders, including a daily rate of US$5 and a monthly rate of US$75. This grants access to the Hub’s facilities for client meetings and collaboration with other entrepreneurs.

The open day featured insightful talks from industry experts. Mpi Ndebele, a business consultant, shared motivational advice and strategies for developing strong business skills. Mpumelelo Nyathi, a software developer and data analyst, demonstrated effective data collection, processing, and analysis techniques. AI specialist Tendai Gatahwa discussed how businesses can leverage AI to predict future trends and make informed decisions.

Ntombiyothando Mabunda, the Bulawayo Tech Hub Coworking Space Manager, said they want to see all Bulawayo startups flourish with their support.

“We’ve planted a seed by bringing these resources together,” Mabunda said. “We’re committed to nurturing it so all startups can get a fair share of the market in Bulawayo and Zimbabwe at large.”

The Bulawayo Tech Hub is open to all startup founders and aims to provide a platform for experience sharing, guidance, and connection. The Hub plans to hold regular events and workshops to foster the growth of Bulawayo’s startup ecosystem.

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