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Muckem Online Bookstore, a Timely Gift to Zimbabwean Authors and Book Lovers

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A recently launched online book store by a local SME, Muckem Investments, is set to create opportunities for local writers who were finding it difficult to upload and sell their books on some international online book shops.

It is also meant to bring convenience to book worms, book lovers and many other stakeholders in the world of literature who would want to use technology for various personal reasons including buying books from their favourite local authors.

An initiative by Donald Chada, the company’s CEO and his team, www.muckem.com, the book store is part of a larger online supermarket where people can sell any other products that are traditionally sold in brick and mortar shops.

Chada said that his company sought to bring a local touch and context to the online shopping business which is dominated by big corporations like Amazon.

With the Fourth industrial Revolution (4IR) taking over the world, technological advancements such online bookshops are a timely gift for people in Zimbabwe, especially local writers who can also use the platform to sell their books to people all over the world.

In spite of operational challenges such as a depressed economy, lack of tangible government support on entrepreneurship and an unstable foreign currency exchange rate, Chada also revealed that despite the lack of tertiary education, his team, with confidence, focus and creativity have managed to launch and start operations on an online shop.

zwnews24’s Brian Kazungu had an interview with Donald Chada to find out more about the Muckem online shop and bookstore.

zwnews24: Would you briefly describe the background, including ownership, nature and business mandate of Muckem and shed more light on your online book store project?

Muckem: Muckem Investments is a marketing and branding company located in the city of Kwekwe here in Zimbabwe. It was established in 2018, with four (4) directors namely: Donald Chada (CEO), Jealous Mudyanadzo (Finance Director), Wayne Mpisi (IT Director) and Bernard Marangwanda (Projects Director),

We have so far managed to successfully launch an online shop which is subdivided into two, with one section catering for all other goods and another operating as an online bookshop.

The team came up with the bookshop in order to promote literature and also provide writers with an avenue to earn a living. Quite a number of writers have already submitted their books, with titles such as Abortion Has Consequences, Dare, Dancing With The Wolf etc. now already on our bookstore.

zwnews24: In a market dominated by giants such as Amazon etc, what is the main motivation and major push for you to engage in this business?

Muckem: Businesses like Amazon are the ones who actually make it possible for us to believe that we can also do it. If you look at it, there is a great need for online stores especially that operate with a local touch. We also realised that even though we might have other online marketers and sellers, they are not really measuring up to market demands. As such, we saw that we have the capacity to chip in and participate towards helping in satisfying the needs and wants of our target market.

zwnews24: What services are you offering to both authors and book lovers on your bookstore? Would you describe what each of these services is all about and the intended benefit of each of these to your targeted and actual clients?

Muckem: To authors, we believe they want exposure and a platform to sell their creative work, as such; we are giving them exactly that. We are giving them an opportunity to market and sell their books even outside of the country to places like America, Dubai etc.

To readers and all other book lovers, we are bringing the bookshop into their homes, as long as they have internet access, and thus saving on time and money to go into the CBD to look for what they can easily get while relaxing in their places of residence.

zwnews24: How has the market responded to the book store initiative so far since inception and what can you attribute to such kind of a response?

Muckem: We are being approached by interested stakeholders from all directions and to us, this means the market is responding well. People are just too excited about project and we look forward to continue making them happy.

zwnews24: What is unique about yourself, your team and your services that set you apart and which helps you to stand out among various service providers who are in the same category with you?

Muckem: Confidence and hard work. We believe in what we do and we deliver on what we promise. This makes our stakeholders to believe in us also. Sometimes, we can even sacrifice to sleep late until our customers and partners get what they want from us and this has paid off for us.   

zwnews24: We understand that your online book store initiative is a bundling of technology and literature related services. Do you have any background in these fields that could have also helped you in identifying the business opportunities behind your entrepreneurial drive?

Muckem: Our only background in business is PASSION and the desire to solve problems. The highest level of education for us is A’ LEVEL but look at what we have managed to achieve.

zwnews24: What are you looking forward to be the major achievements of the Muckem book store and what do you believe can help you towards such achievements?

Muckem: We are looking forward to reach where Amazon is today, and more so, we are also looking forward to create more jobs and conveniences for our stakeholders. As Christians, we believe that God will help us achieve this.

zwnews24: In a world where most people, especially the youth are failing to start and run their own enterprises because of the lack of capital, how have you managed to launch and operate the Muckem initiative?

Muckem: Confidence, focus and creativity have enabled us to launch and start operations on our Muckem online shop. We made contributions from our own pockets and did much of the work ourselves. We even developed the website on our own. As such, my advice to unemployed youths is that they must realise their passion and then seek to get knowledge on how to pursue their dreams especially through entrepreneurship. 

zwnews24: It is a fact that the current economic situation in Zimbabwe is challenging. What is it that has helped you as a business to continue operating under such an environment?

Muckem: If you have only one dam in your area, you must learn to swim with the crocodiles. We cannot say we no longer swim just because there are crocodiles, but we must rather find the means to swim with them. You must learn survival tactics in life. 

zwnews24: What are and what has been some of the operational challenges that you have encountered so far in the pursuit of the Muckem vision?

Muckem: The biggest challenge is instability of our local currency. It changes every time and we still have problems in trading with foreign currency. More so, government support for entrepreneurship is very low and you know entrepreneurship goes well if your government supports it. However, we are still looking forward to government involvement towards promotion of SMEs.

zwnews24: What advice can you give to the unemployed youth and many other job seekers concerning entrepreneurship as a way of creating employment for themselves and others?

Muckem: Job seekers must firstly and quickly understand that quite often employment is the key to slavery. People must identify their passion and be creative enough in the pursuit of such. As Muckem, we are prepared to work with doers and dreamers by giving them a platform where they can market their products and services.

zwnews24: Where do you see Muckem in the future and what legacy do you want it to leave on earth? Why do you have such convictions?

Muckem: We see Muckem being the biggest online marketing place in Zimbabwe, in Africa and other continents just like what Amazon has managed to achieve.

zwnews24:  How do clients and other stakeholders engage your business? How do they get in touch?

Muckem: For more information and engagements, our stakeholders can visit our website as well as our social media pages. They can also contact us through email or get in touch with us through the phone via sms, phone calls and WhatsApp.

www.muckem.com /: info@muckem.com /+263773388035 /+263782661943

Small Business

Wedding Planning Is My Passion, That Is Why My Clients Say I am The Best

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From as early as childhood, some kids have an imagination of their own picture perfect families where they are married to their dream spouses and having beautiful kids running around the yard.

Such thoughts cross the minds of so many young people even though to the very same kids imagining such a beautiful future, there will not be even a clue of what it really takes to be a responsible marital partner and or a parent.

They can even imagine their weddings where the prince charming will marry his beautiful princess and vice versa with so many people gathered to celebrate the day.

On top of all that, they also imagine that soon after the wedding, life will continue with amazing miracles springing around them from every direction.

Such is the beauty of imagination and more so, life becomes so much extra fulfilling when those beautiful things that you imagine finally become a dream come true.

As such, if your dream is a stress free, smooth flowing and memorable wedding, there are people like Chiedza Sandra Chimwanda who believe that they are passionately dedicated to make sure that your dreams are converted into a life fulfilling reality.

Chiedza, under her Tata Global Investments company, which specialises in wedding planning in its broadness, says that her main satisfaction comes from seeing a successful wedding where the couple and everyone else involved is happy.

“Wedding planning is in my blood, it is my nature and so, I naturally do it with easy, be it whether I am planning for the whole event from scratch or concentrating on a specific aspect of the wedding such as Gowns, Counseling, Cakes, Bride/Groom Transport, Flowers and or Venue etc.

When clients give me the task to manage their wedding, they are guaranteed of a stress free and well organized job.” She narrated

Chiedza revealed that, personally, she had always wanted to wed and after her dream came true, she took it upon herself to make sure that other people with similar wishes and dreams must have someone knowledgeable in that aspect to help in making the whole event beautifully memorable.

zwnews24’s Brian Kazungu talked to Chiedza about her wedding planning business in order to find out more about her passions, joys and challenges associated with such kind of a business.

zwnews24: Would you give us a brief description of your wedding planning business?

Chiedza Chimwanda: I am wedding planner. In short, I do offer event planning from scratch, covering issues to do with Gowns, Counseling, Cakes, Transport, Flowers and Venue etc.

zwnews24: How has the market responded to your products and services so far since inception and what can you attribute to such kind of a response?

Chiedza Chimwanda: The feedback from my clients has been very positive and encouraging. They say I am the best and I even feel the same in my blood because once I get clients, I make sure that I get their job satisfactorily done.

zwnews24: What is unique about yourself, your team and your services, that set you apart and which helps you to stand out among various service providers who are in the same category with you?

Chiedza Chimwanda: Love and passion for people and for my job is what sets me apart. Even though wedding planning is my source of incoming, when I am doing it, I give it my selfless best. I tell myself that it is not always about money but happiness, and fortunately, it’s this guaranteed happiness which then also becomes a guarantee of my source of income.

zwnews24: What do you believe and understand are the main advantages to your clients when they make use of your services in addressing their wedding requirements?

Chiedza Chimwanda: When clients trust me with their wedding, they get a stress free, well organized and perfectly done job.

zwnews24: In a world where most people, especially the youth are failing to start and run their own enterprises because of lack of capital, how have you managed to launch and operate this initiative?

Chiedza Chimwanda: I push myself towards the mark and I make good use of every penny that I get along the way. It can be hard sometimes, but when you are good at what you do, God will help you through.

zwnews24: What are and what has been some of the operational challenges that you have encountered so far in the pursuit of your entrepreneurship vision and how have you dribbled past them?

Chiedza Chimwanda: Competition is a serious challenge in this business, but as said earlier, I am passionate and dedicated to my job and this ensures that I get referrals from my satisfied clients. More so, the economy is in bad shape and thus affecting the number of people that can afford the expenses associated with wedding and this is a serious problem to those who want to wed and to us as wedding planners as well. As we compete among us ourselves, we just wish the economy would recover soon.

zwnews24: Based on your experience, what advice can you give to unemployed youths and many other job seekers concerning entrepreneurship as a way of creating employment for themselves and others?

Chiedza Chimwanda: Volunteer to work freely to those already in business so that you can get knowledge and experience to start your own business.

zwnews24: Where do you foresee your business in the future and what legacy, history or impact do you want your business to have in your community, country or across the world? Why do you have such convictions?

Chiedza Chimwanda: I am very hopeful and confident that in the future, my business will be planning and hosting weddings across the whole country. I can say that because, right now, in my community, they know and confirm that I am the best.

zwnews24: How do clients and other stakeholders engage your business? How do they get in touch?

Chiedza Chimwanda: those interested in my services can Whatsapp/Call me on +263 71 982 5237, Email: chimwandachiedza@gmail.com or can even get in touch with me through Social Media platforms such as Facebook: Chiedza Chimwanda.

#. The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/32hZSlb

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Don’t Wait For A Conducive Environment To Start Your Business – Jonathan Ralph Kadurira

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Jonathan Ralph Kadurira, founder of The Mesh, Springtide Consultancy and Springtide Cleaning Services has encouraged youths especially job seekers to start their own enterprises right now and bootstrap their way into the business world.

He advised them not to wait for a conducive business environment, or for loans and venture investment before putting their business ideas into practice.

An entrepreneur, author and speaker, Ralph, is the brains behind one of Zimbabwe’s fastest growing talk show platforms, The Mesh.

The Mesh, is an engaging talk show where people, notably the youth, gather to discuss different important issues especially with invited guests who are knowledgeable in the subject matter in a fun filled environment under the banner Constructive Dialogue.

Since inception, the show has so far been graced by Dr Lance Mambondiani, CEO of BancABC, Trevor Ncube, the Chairman of Alpha Media Holdings and Simon Hammond, Managing Director of CABS Zimbabwe.

While speaking about his Springtide Cleaning business to zwnews24.com, Kadurira, author of the book, Fighting Ignorance, said that he started the cleaning business out of bootstrapping.

“I bootstrapped. That was the only efficient way to go about it especially in this economy we have. Don’t wait for a conducive environment. Don’t wait for loans or investment from venture capitalists or anyone. Don’t wait. Start now. Bootstrap yourself up. It’s possible” Said Jonathan

According to Investopedia, bootstrapping is: starting a business without external help or working capital. Entrepreneurs in the company survive through internal cash flow and are very cautious with their expenses.

He also added that he started offering cleaning services without much background in it but simply because he is an entrepreneur, he identified a need and devised solutions to address that need.

Below is the full interview between Jonathan Ralph Kadurira (JRK) and zwnews24’s Brian Kazungu.

zwnews24: Would you briefly describe the background, nature and mandate of your Springtide Cleaning business?

JRK: Springtide Cleaning is a fully integrated cleaning services company that provides comprehensive, high quality, reliable cleaning solutions to commercial, corporate, industrial and residential clients. We are now in our 2nd year of operation since March 2019.

zwnews24: What is the main motivation and major push for you to engage in the business that you are involved in?

JRK: I am a techno-preneur, I use tech to offer solutions that communities face and build up a business from there. As such, because of the need of innovative solutions in that area of business especially in my home country, I saw it fit to engage myself in this business.

zwnews24: What are the different products and services that you are offering? Would you describe what each of these products and services is all about and the intended benefit of each of these to your targeted and actual clients?

JRK: We provide an extensive range of quality safe hygienic services. We help maintain high standards  of hygiene by providing high quality air freshening, clinical, medical and sharps disposal, sanitary bag dispensers, sanitary disposal units, soap and hand sanitizing, Toilet seat & Urinal sanitizing, Washrooms Dispensers and many other services.

More so, we are a competent and fully integrated company that is also increasing the standards of cleaning through advanced cleaning practices including green-cleaning cleaning in Zimbabwe and beyond.

We also offer post construction cleaning, recurring cleaning, and one-time deep cleaning as well as move in/move out cleaning services.

On Products:

Chemicals: Our top of the range of chemical products provide a comprehensive, cost effective and environmentally friendly solution for all disinfection, cleaning, protection and maintenance requirements in commercial, corporate, industrial and residential establishments.

Detergents: Our detergents are best in quality and cover a wide range of applications; from stain and dirt removal to cleaning and sanitization. Our detergents are categorized as Commercial/Industrial Care, as well as Home and Personal Care

Cleaning accessories: Our home and office cleaning accessories provide a comprehensive cost effective and environmentally friendly solution that enables one to carry out a vast range of cleaning tasks in a cost saving and efficient manner.

zwnews24: How has the market responded to your products and services so far since inception and what can you attribute to such kind of a response?

JRK: The market has responded well. It is fair and I can attribute that to the business relations we have built and to the team I work with.

zwnews24: What is it that is unique about yourself, your team and your services which sets you apart and which also helps you to stand out among various service providers who are in the same category with you?

JRK: As Springtide Cleaning, we take pride in being efficient, reliable and thorough with our work.

zwnews24: What do you believe and understand are the main advantages to your clients when they make use of your company products and services in addressing their cleaning and hygiene issues?

JRK: The main advantage is Satisfaction! That’s what one gets when they hire us. We always provide excellent customer service. We are thorough and efficient, and we clean to high standards.

zwnews24: Do you have any background in this industry? If yes, could that have helped you in identifying the business opportunities behind your entrepreneurial drive?

JRK: The only background which I have in this regard is entrepreneurship, which is the ability to see a problem and then giving out a business solution.

zwnews24: What can you look back at and say that, so far, this has been your major achievements as an enterprise and what do you believe has greatly contributed towards such achievements?

JRK: As of today, our major achievement has been our ability to push ourselves and stand our ground in a congested market. It is because of the faith that we have in our products and services.

zwnews24: In a world where most people, especially the youth are failing to start and run their own enterprises because of lack of capital, how have you managed to launch and operate this initiative?

JRK: I bootstrapped. That was the only efficient way to go about it especially in this economy we have.

zwnews24: It is a fact that the current economic situation globally is challenging. As such, what is it that has helped you as a business to continue operating under some difficult conditions that you have encountered?

JRK:  I can safely say that our work ethic and thoroughness in what we do has helped us to maintain our customers, get repeated jobs and also get referrals. This has kept us operational.

zwnews24: What are and what has been some of the operational challenges that you have encountered so far in the pursuit of your entrepreneurship vision and how have you dribbled past them?

JRK: The exponential rise in the number of cleaning companies operating within the industry has, of course, led to some great competition in the industry. However we are to remain favourites because of our agility in our work process.

zwnews24: Based on your experience, what advice can you give to unemployed youths and many other job seekers concerning entrepreneurship as a way of creating employment for themselves and others?

JRK: Don’t wait for a conducive environment. Don’t wait for loans or investment from venture capitalists or anyone. Don’t wait. Start now. Bootstrap yourself up. It’s possible

zwnews24: What are the current challenges happening in your industry or country which is affecting the viability of your business? In that regard, what are the strategies that you are putting in place for you to achieve your goals? 

JRK: One challenge has been of labour, which is finding and keeping the right employees. To curb this, we did set up a formal recognition system that acknowledges employees who go above and beyond in providing quality service. We have also created a system for collecting employee feedback and making changes based on this feedback for a better work environment. Lastly, investing in new training programs that allow employees to learn new skills and expand their knowledge of the industry.

zwnews24: Where do you foresee your business in the future and what legacy do you want it to leave on earth? 

JRK: We seek to be the leading and go-to cleaning company within the cleaning industry in Africa and beyond by consistently providing high quality services through maintaining and upgrading cleaning standards and upholding excellence in our provision of services to exceed the expectations of our clients. We can do all this because we have the drive, we have the tenacity and we have the faith.

https://springtidecleaning.co.zw

https://www.facebook.com/pg/springtidecleaning/services/?ref=page_internal

https://www.linkedin.com/company/20141250/admin/

https://twitter.com/Springtideclean
The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/32hZSlb

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