By Staff Writer
Kumbirai Chipadza was born and bred in the small mining town of Zvishavane. His father was a politician and Town Council Chairman for Zvishavane and the local football club Mandava United. After the passing of his father, his mother who was once a teacher also become a town councillor. It is because of this, that Kubirai believes he grew up with the community around him.
Kumbirai was pushed away from Zimbabwe due to political isssues, “I ended up in Germany due to political issues during the Mugabe regime as my wife worked for the opposition,” said Kumbirai. He however believes that it has done him good as it afforded him more opportunities due to the stable economy and investment opportunites for start-up.
Kumbirai started venturing into entrepreneurship as a teenager, “I started Entrepreneurship at 19 when I used to go and buy maize all over Zimbabwe for resale working for my mother. Later I managed our Video Club and in University in South Africa together with a friend we were nicknamed “ Ximex Mall “ as we would sell sim cards, phones and organise events,” Kumbirai told The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
In Germany the exercise of registering a company was not difficult for the Deutsch Connect founder, however, rejections was one of the major challenge he faced in the start-up phase, “It was difficult to find acceptance firstly within my own Diaspora Community as people would think I was lazy to do heavy duty jobs. It is also difficult to get buy in from the Germans, as they are not used to seeing black business people,” lamented Kumbirai.
The social entrepreneur’s initial idea was to Connect Zimbabwe with Germany. “I saw synergies and opportunities in Tourism, Food, Culture Exchange but eventually it grew bigger than Zimbabwe to Africa,” Kumbirai told The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
The idea later turned out to be a house hold brand that offers services related to German language courses, B2B Matchmaking, Market Linkages, Talent Acquisition, Investment, Ecosystem Tours, and Investor Readiness across Africa.
Kumbirai advised upcoming entreprenuers to never give up, “It’s not easy. You will fail and fail again but never give up. The satisfaction of being a Founder and building a legacy must always push you forward. I would recommend reading Outliers, Shoe Dog, The Richest Man in Babylon and The Lean Startup,” said Kumbirai.
Kumbirai is also looking forward to invest back home by expanding his business into Agribusiness (processing, packaging and exporting ) as well as Mining. They have also launched a Deutsch Connect Founders Network, where startups and entrepreneurs from Zimbabwe can join for free for information, networking, Mentorship, B2B Matchmaking and Investment opportunities.
This article was first published in the August Issue of The Entrepreneurial Magazine under the headline “Zimbabwean Entrepreneurs breaking the ceiling glass in the diaspora.”