Ways to convert challenges into opportunities in Mutare

challenges turned into opportunities

Challenges into opportunities

I am going to do this first, sharing challenges that confront us here in Mutare. I will walk through with you step by step the thinking process that we should all engage as prospective entrepreneurs and businessmen/men in turning adversity into business ideas that will translate into BIG money.


Converting adversity into opportunities

Cash Shortages

    • Plastic Money
    • Currency trade

Foreign currency shortages

    • From runner by to procurement guru.
    • Export, get forex and import needed items – start small and grow BIG
    • Study and understand the rules and regulations better than anyone else. Use the knowledge to your advantage

Bad roads

    • Strike pothole repair deals at cell level, invest profits equipment and aspire to be BIG in the field

The high cost of licenses, rates, and other fees – all impacting on competitiveness

    • Some of you should join politics – become counselors and influence change from within the system.

Porous border and cheap imports

    • Mabhero
    • Fuel

Poor service from NRZ

    • Idle trucks and transport broking opportunities

80% informal sector

    • Organise Sakubva musika and other popular informal activities
    • Start informally and quickly formalize
    • Play by the rules and be ready for JV arrangements with BIG foreign companies when the investment climate is ripe

Low productivity on farms

    • Apply for land – it is free
    • Lease if not successful
    • Mobilize factors optimally – land, labour, capital, and entrepreneurship. They are in abundance here

Low capacity utilization of Mutare industry

    • Make deals and use the free capacity at a commission

Company closures

    • Use the internet effectively to lure investors and Joint Venture deals
    • Indigenisation legislation
    • SEZ Bill
    • Industrialisation policy
    • Regional and international trade policies E.g SADC, COMESA trade protocols

Environmental degradation

    • Advocacy for the protection of the environment
    • NGO money
    • Social entrepreneurship as an alternative


Live examples of success stories and sad stories.

Success stories

  1. Cairns Foods – From judiciary management to shareholder restructuring, capital injection and backward value chain integration.
  2. Willoton Investments – SI64 tariff barrier circumvention.
  3. Tenda Earth moving equipment – port holes solution
  4. Matanuska Bananas – Linkages with small-holder farmers in Mutema and Chibuwe through viable win-win Value Chains
  5. Tanganda Tea – Diversification into water, macadamia nuts, coffee and other non-traditional crops.

Sad stories

Companies that did not adapt and change and have closed down.

  1. Karina Textiles – Carpets manufacture. Failed to adapt to customer needs and kept focusing on production of carpets instead of migrating to ceramic tiles.
  2. Zimbabwe Coffee mills – Post land reform lack of production on coffee farms and throughput in the factory.
  3. PG Pilkington Glass 0 Had lucrative windscreen contracts in the US and throughout the world but lost all that.
  4. Mutare Board and Paper Mills – High production cost base and failure to compete on import parity. We are now importing paper yet we have all that pulp.


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