A GROUP of Zimbabweans in the United States will tomorrow launch an initiative that may raise up to US$120 million a year for investment in their mother country, which they hope will not only recapitalise the economy but also provide possible funding for a more transparent indigenisation programme.
This is to be launched at a conference organised by the Zimbabwe Business Network International (ZBNI), which begins tomorrow. This comes hot on the heels of the Victoria Falls Diaspora conference hosted by the Development Foundation in December last year.
However, the ZBNI’s thrust stresses on raising money from an estimated 500 000 Zimbabweans in the United States. The group’s strategy is to mobilise at least US$100 a month from just a fifth of the Zimbabweans in the United States. This would bring money mobilised to US$10 million a month.
“The one month fund can buyout any of the 13 listed companies on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of below US$10 million. The funds can also be used to buy into privately held companies,” according to ZBNI director, Simba Usore.
A delegation of Zimbabwean businessmen led by Affirmative Action Group (AAG) founding member and businessman Supa Mandiwanzira is expected to attend the conference which will among other things discuss the current indigenisation policy and business opportunities for Zimbabweans. The funding method outlined is one of the matters to be discussed. ZBNI is also proposing another alternative method of raising finance called crowd funding, where entrepreneurs can receive pledges for business projects via online networks, instead of the traditional method of looking for loans.
ZBNI managing director Esau Mavindidze said the network intended to provide greater visibility and insight into opportunities and capabilities from Zimbabwe to the Diaspora Relevant Links
U.S., Canada and Africa
“The intent is to link the Zimbabwe Diaspora community and American businesses to the Zimbabwean environment so as to take advantage of the plentiful investment, trade and business opportunities in Zimbabwe and the United States,” said Mavindidze.
ZBNI was established to network Zimbabweans and facilitate investments into the country and companies with interest in the market. Simba Usore the Investment director said industry needs to get back to full capacity after years in the doldrums.
“Having gone through the ‘lost years’, industry needs to get back to work, at full capacity. This in turn creates much needed employment opportunities in the country. The key to the development of Zimbabwe is the availability of capital,” said Usore.