Bulawayo is undoubtedly growing as a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation. Startups play a pivotal role in a country’s economy because at their core they are solving problems faced by society. Gumiguru Incorporated recently released the Gumiguru 50 under 30 emerging leaders class of 2020. These Zimbabwean leaders are working tirelessly to inspire and create change in their communities. From that list are four outstanding Bulawayo startups you should know about. These founders are making waves in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
FarmHut is an agritech startup aimed at assisting smallholder farmers, to scale their operations by helping with access to funding, markets, and insurance. Founded in 2018, FarmHut identified that small scale farmers, in particular female farmers, do not get the best deals when selling their produce. Through their platform, they have been able to assist almost 600 farmers from across the country. In addition, they have been able to raise funds for women farmers in Masvingo, Lupane, Nyazura, and Murewa through crowdfunding efforts.
“The most fascinating thing about getting up everyday and going to work is seeing how many lives you’re impacting and changing. Being nominated on the list solidifies the brand that we are building, which is to be socially conscious and focused on helping Zimbabweans grow.”Ryan Katayi, founder of FarmHut
Thumeza is a logistics platform utilising data in order to provide affordable delivery of goods to enterprises and individuals. Founded by Gugulethu Siso, the startup currently has two products offerings. “Thumeza Last Mile”, a last-mile solutions provider centred in Bulawayo and Intransit a freight centric solutions provider for enterprises in the Zimbabwean market. Early this year, Thumeza published the “Zimbabwe Logitsics Ecosystem report”. This report mapped out the transport owners in Zimbabwe, most popular vehicles used in delivering goods adn fleet ownership structures. The work they have been doing has received international recognitions as they are the second Zimbawean startup ever to be accepted into the Google for Startups Accelerator Program 2020.
“My team and I are super excited to be recognised as we make strides to roll our solutions across the greater Zimbabwean market. We need every inch of brand visibility as we prepare to knock on doors that may not be familiar with our offerings.”Gugulethu Siso,
Vital Recycling is a waste management startup that helps companies and individuals management their waste through recycling. The startups founder, Kudakwashe Dhliwayo, an industrial Chemist by profession, has been building Vital since 2018. Vital has been working with manufacturers and retailers around Bulawayo to manage plastic waste accumulated. The goal is to find alternative and sustainable ways of disposing them. Vital started a campaign known as “Target 13” which is an environmental awareness campaign inspired by the targets of SDG goal 13. Targeted mostly at corporates and local communities, the campaign aims to mainstream waste management habits.
Phenomenon Technologies is a startup that leverages innovative technologies to create immersive digital experiences. Phenom Tech is the parent company of Sciency app, which is an educational platform startup that seeks to make learning science as comprehensive and interactive as possible. They achieve this by incorporating immersive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in their learning materials. The company was founded in 2018 by former high school teacher Nkosana Masuku, who has an undeniable passion for emerging technologies. In 2018 they were named as part of the African Union Top 10 Education Innovators.
All in all, even though the Gumiguru list does not mention all Bulawayo entrepreneurs by name, it’s a fact that the city boasts of trail blazers in the startup ecosystem. All of them deserve recognition for all the hard work they put into their communities.
If you know of any other startups or entrepreneurs in your community doing amazing work, please get in touch with us via Whatsapp.