I started MaZo Connect in December 2018 with no budget, no government or corporate support. The aim was to Connect African Entrepreneurs with each other and business opportunities for the prosperity of all Africans.
All I had was a belief that Africa could be better and my wife’s unwavering support. In one year we have:
- contributed over R3,5 million to the economy of Rwanda
- a turnover of R1,5 million
- spent over R500 000 in South African based businesses
- been featured on CNBC Africa, Radio 2000, Power FM, Kaya FM and has turned down some interviews from three leading stations due to contractual obligations
- taken two different groups of entrepreneurs from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia to Rwanda.
Over 39 entrepreneurs have opened businesses in Rwanda and the majority of them have started trading. Indeed, working together, we will have a bigger impact.
- We have developed great relationships with government and business leaders in Rwanda.
- We have partnerships with airlines, leading hotels and leading car rental companies.
- We have partnered with a South African based leading travel agency that is Black female owned.
- We have partnered with a leading Gauteng Based Commercial Radio Station for the Rwanda trip.
The previous group of entrepreneurs that travelled with us attended a wedding in Rwanda, increasing our social ties with the People of Rwanda.
At the recently established Golden Business Forum, I was honoured for my contribution to the economy of Rwanda. I was given an opportunity to address government and business leaders from all over the world. I was honoured and invited to seat on a table of government Ministers as we were addressed by the President of Rwanda, His Excellency Mr Paul Kagame.
We still have a very long way to go but for now, we will celebrate the small victories.
You don’t need money to start anything. Just start, money and right connections will come to you. I remain proud of what we have achieved over a short period of time. I thank GOD for making it possible.
We are looking forward to taking South African entrepreneurs to Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania and Senegal in 2019. We aim to make #IntraAfricaTrade fashionable for the benefit of all Africans.
By Zonkezakhe Mahlangu