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Rapid economic growth, a boost to Zambia’s entrepreneurship sector

An entrepreneur who is also University of Zambia lecturer in the Department of Development Studies says Zambia is emerging as a potential entrepreneurial society. UNIVERSITY of Zambia Development Studies lecturer says Zambia is emerging as a potential entrepreneurial society.
Dr. Francis Chigunta, who is also the Zambian coordinator for Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Consortium, says Zambia’s rapidly growing economy provided an enabling environment for the growth of entrepreneurship activities in the country.
He noted tha Zambia had the highest level of early stage entrepreneurship performance among African countries in 2012.
“It is worth noting that the proportion involved in business start-ups in Zambia is higher than any other country in Africa. There is a high level of dynamic entrepreneurial activities and high level of new businesses,” he noted.
Dr. Chigunta however explained that established business ownership in Zambia was one of the lowest in the world.
He stated that there were many people entering entrepreneurship in Zambia but could hardly run the business beyond the early stages.
“There are a lot of people who venture into various businesses but fail to sustain those businesses beyond the early stages. Zambian youths are very enterprising despite the ability to sustain their businesses,” Dr. Chigunta added.
He charged that lack of access to finance, poorly developed capital market and poor understanding of business operations were among the limiting factors for businesses to live beyond the early stages.
Dr. Chigunta also stated that fear of failure by individuals to enter into businesses had also contributed to the downfall of most businesses.
“There are a lot of factors that contribute to most businesses not to go beyond the early stages such as lack of sufficient government support, lack of technology, unsupportive cultural and social Norms, limited availability of business opportunities and many others,” he added.
Dr. Chigunta called on financial institutions and the government to increase financing sources for new and growing businesses in the country.
He also advised government to reform the education and training system to promote and nurture a culture of entrepreneurship among young Zambians.
Meanwhile, Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission Director General Likando Mukumbuta said there was need to come up with inclusive reforms that would enable people start-up and sustain a business.
Mr. Mukumbuta has since said his commission had devised a programme that would focus on empowering young people in the country.
Dr. Chigunta and Mr. Mukumbuta were speaking this during the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) conference held at Lusaka’s Cresta Golfview Hotel.

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