Rise of Zambia’s entrepreneurship landscape

Entrepreneurship is playing an increasingly important role in fueling economic growth and development in Zambia. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2022, Zambia is ranked 85th out of 190 countries in ease of doing business, up from 97th in the previous year’s report. This is an encouraging trend for entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses in the country.

The country has a rich diversity of natural resources and an abundant agricultural sector. With a population of over 18 million, Zambia presents a vibrant market for entrepreneurs to tap into and make an impact. Zambia also boasts a rapidly growing young population, which presents significant opportunities for businesses looking to tap into the consumer market.

However, despite the potential, there are challenges that entrepreneurs in Zambia face.

  1. Access to finance, with many entrepreneurs struggling to secure funding to start or grow their businesses
  2. A lack of skilled labour
  3. Inadequate infrastructure
  4. An unstable regulatory environment.

Despite these challenges, opportunities exist in the country for entrepreneurs, including the agribusiness sector, renewable energy, and technology.

As a testament to this, GrowthAfrica is currently working with 10 Zambian entrepreneurs as part of the USAID Alternatives to Charcoal Clean Cooking Incubation Program. These innovative ventures offer millions of households sustainable and affordable fuel alternatives, reducing Zambia’s reliance on charcoal and promoting a more sustainable future for all. The cohort comprises Biogas technology, Gas connect, GEI Power Limited, Palm Scotts and Tranquility distributors.

The Zambian government is also committed to supporting entrepreneurship in the country. It has implemented several policies to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to thrive. These policies aim to improve access to financing, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and enhance the ease of doing business.

As part of the Zambian government’s bid to strengthen the private sector and enhance job creation, innovation, and competitiveness, the Accelerated Growth for SMEs (AGS) Programme was launched. Funded by the Finnish government as part of the private-sector development initiative, GrowthAfrica, in partnership with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) implemented this programme.

GrowthAfrica’s participation in this was to implement the accelerator programme in Zambia targeting growth-oriented MSMEs in #agribusiness, #mining services, #forestry, #renewable energy, and the #circulareconomy economy with #ICT and #education as cross-cutting sectors.

The entrepreneurship landscape in Zambia is gradually evolving, with an increase in innovation and the launch of several start-ups. Although challenges still exist, opportunities do exist. The Zambian government’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurship also creates a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to thrive.

We are excited and incredibly humbled by the trust given to us by our partners, clients and entrepreneurs in Zambia. We can’t wait to see the disruptive innovations and impact that will come out of these vibrant and transformative ecosystems.

How can we collaborate to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Zambia? Let’s talk!