Zimbabwe's economy was once as rich as its culture. But today, unemployment in one of southern Africa's landlocked nations, has skyrocketed to an alarming 95 percent. If ever there was a time to help this nation, it is now. Fortunately, social philanthropists and influential leaders such as Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela have stepped up to the plate.
Enterprise Zimbabwe CEO Isabella Matambanadzo tells Tonic, "We don't have the financial resources to match the ideas we have for business." So what's a country to do when its people have great ideas and a healthy dose of entrepreneurship but no money to match their intentions? They ask for help.
Together, Virgin Unite, Humanity United and the Nduna Foundation established Enterprise Zimbabwe, an independent nonprofit aimed at fostering a transformation of the nation's economy by finding investment partners to ignite and fuel the existing entrepreneurship of the Zimbabwean people.
The program was born under the direction of The Elders, a group of leaders founded by Nelson Mandela and Craca Machel, and chaired by Desmond Tutu. The independent assembly identified the need for investment partners and quickly put this initiative to revitalize the Zimbabwe economy into motion. Of course, none of this would be possible without the financial support and efforts of Virgin Unite and Richard Branson.
"Zimbabwe was once a shining example of a thriving economy in Africa and known worldwide for having an incredible spirit of entrepreneurship," said Branson. "Now is not the time for donors to take a wait and see approach. It's critical for the global community of business leaders and philanthropists to come together to support Zimbabweans."