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Zimbabwe isn’t the easiest place when it comes to starting out a business. According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index it ranks 170 out of 183 — to say doing business there is tough would be an understatement.
This is why a company like Empire Communications — a public relations and communications agency — is brave. Empire Communications, founded and owned by Tawanda Chitiyo, wants to facilitate content management and provide “new media tools” for Zimbabwean entrepreneurs, to help put them on the world’s radar.
In an interview with TechMoran, Chitiyo revealed his plans to create an “integrated online, offine and mobile communications strategy” for startups.
Empire Communications has secured approximately 501 SMEs in Mutare — Zimbabwe’s third largest city — through door-to-door campaigning. Chitiyo feels that this is where Empire Communications will add value for these entrepreneurs:
“Most of these [SMEs] cannot afford traditional advertising and marketing methods so we offer them a cheaper alternative, in the form of direct targeted advertising on Facebook mobile and on Google.”
Chitiyo’s goal is to reinvigorate the IT sector in Zimbabwe by bringing the digital world to rural parts of the country, and conversely take what entrepreneurs in those rural areas offer, and give it wider reach.
Leveraging mobile is a good strategy, but Empire Communications will have to put in a lot of footwork over the course of the next few years to secure the market. Up until now there has been some legislation issues that Empire Communications has had to navigate, and despite not having funding, Chitiyo feels that Zimbabwe’s youth can inspire each other, and he hopes to facilitate that.
Image by Harvey Barrison via Flickr.