TelOne, Udugu power Zim start-ups

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Converged communication systems service provider, TelOne has set its sights on powering the next generation of innovation in the country by partnering with young entrepreneurs in a ground-breaking start-ups project.

The project, Batanai to Create (B2C) Co-working Space, was born out of a partnership between TelOne and Udugu Institute, a trust set up to foster development through interactive and inclusive platforms to showcase local innovations.

TelOne said the support to start-ups was critical to entrepreneurship development and employment creation.

“Most start-ups under Udugu are driven by internet and they need reliable connectivity. TelOne has in the past 12 months supported the start-ups with internet worth more than $30 000,” the telecoms firm said.

“We are happy to note that during this period, at least 600 start-ups have passed through the B2C co-working space and benefitted from this support. While many are still finding their footing, we have about 30 who are now operating as businesses.”

Udugu Institute Partnership manager Constantine Nyanzero said, “B2C came about as a realisation that there is a need to strengthen the capacity of entrepreneurs on the continent.”

“Creating safe and active spaces for young people to collaborate is the foremost requirement to create an enabling environment for them. Through our various programs we find early stage promising start-ups and give them the programs, space and most importantly to help them take their idea to market.”

B2C works with a full suite of programmes for both tech and small businesses. They work with businesses at all stages, helping start-up, emerging and established companies develop, launch and grow.

“We foster the growth of enterprises driven by young entrepreneurs, through linking older people who have capital with the youth who have ideas, but short of capital,” said Nyanzero.

He said the young and the old can both become agents of change through innovation.

“Our job is to make sure that innovative entrepreneurs are able to create jobs and boost economic development while extending essential products and services to those who need them the most,” Nyanzero said.–newsday.co.zw

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