My Zimbabwe, Her Zimbabwe
Posted on September 13, 2013
Having a team of two, reaching 300 000 people per month … good enough start!
Success is pretty hard to define: but I believe that at least one way to consider it is based on how engaged the market is with your content. This probably touches on influence. Having a team of two, and a reach of 300 000 people per month, it is clear that it is not always about the immediate resources available to a business that makes it a success. Perhaps it is rather the value which it brings in the market.
In Zimbabwe, I have found that it is important to inspire and provide a space (call it a political vacuum) where people can think on and engage with other matters important to them.
In 2012 I realised that the Zimbabwean media was flooded with political information, only! Media had forgotten to tell ordinary stories by giving a platform to people with a voice and a valid opinion to share. I was uninspired by what was there, thus began the journey of Her Zimbabwe.
Her Zimbabwe is a women’s web-based platform that promotes discussion, debate and consciousness building between women and men within Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe’s vast diaspora. The medium is about helping to amplify the voices of women, in particular, by providing a space to interrogate popular and unpopular notions of a Zimbabwean and feminine identity.
Key to our success and ability to stand out in what is becoming a crowded virtual market is identifying our niche. We address the needs of young Zimbabwean women by engaging with their points of interest. This then translates into a network of information sharing: young women across Zimbabwe talking about their challenges, opportunities, needs and solutions.
The economic position of the country makes it a difficult climate for young entrepreneurs to thrive in. The bleak and minimal opportunities of funding coupled with the negativity of media really impacts the way in which entrepreneurs operate and implement strategies for their businesses. I find hope in the culture of entrepreneurship that is currently booming. Seeing people close to my age (in the face of all these obstacles attached to the economic environment) strive for success is nothing short of breath taking. I had to find ways of reducing the costs of operating Her Zimbabwe in order to survive, and in doing so formed partnerships with institutions key to my costs of operations. By finding such ways we became somewhat immune to the harsh financial climate, having the rest that at least our costs were covered.
Looking back I have found that I am here because of the decisions I made in the past and my choice of people to share my story with. However, this is only the beginning of “My Zimbabwe,” where I use my resources to transform the Zimbabwean story.
My advice to the upcoming entrepreneur is to transform your story from being about you to being about everyone. When people find their purpose in your endeavours, you will be surprised by the extent of their support.
My name is Fungai Machirori creator of Her Zimbabwe,
I am Youngpreneur