The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) announced the launch of GEN Zambia and the appointment by its board of directors of Edwin Zulu as Managing Director. In addition to Zulu, GEN Zambia is founded and led by:
- Andrew Banda, with 30 years of experience in small-and medium enterprise (SME) support and value chain development.
- Njekwa Lumbwe, with 20 years of business experience.
- Judith Lungu, PhD., former Deputy Vice Chancellor for Mulungushi University, with more than 30 years of experience teaching, research and publication and consulting for businesses in the agricultural sector.
- Jacob Jones Sikazwe, with 40 years of experience in business, leadership and management.
- Esther P. Sipanje, with vast experience in business administration and management.
- Margrate K. Siwale, with 20 years of experience in banking, SME support, entrepreneurship, and development.
GEN Zambia’s top priority is to propel an entrepreneurship-led transformation of Zambia’s economy and showcase Zambia as a center of ecosystem excellence in Africa. To this end, it is focused on building a culture of collaboration in the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem by facilitating networking and partnerships among public and private sector stakeholders. In the near term, GEN Zambia is working to develop the foundation of support needed to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, a gathering of startup champions that takes place in a different emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem every year.
“GEN Zambia is building capacities through strategic collaborations with public and private sector stakeholders while coming up with a sustainable business model as a startup itself,” said Zulu.
Building on Zulu’s 20-plus years of experience as the CEO of ELIF Business Solutions Limited, a leading African business and project development services firm with a focus on SMEs and underserved communities, GEN Zambia has established strategic collaborations with the Ministry of Tourism and its various agencies including the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA), the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, and the National Heritage and Conservation Commission (NHCC). GEN Zambia has also established a strategic partnership with the Ethiopian airlines (ET) as part of a country-wide national tourism development initiative called “FACE Zambia” (Flight + Accommodation + Car + Experience travel & tour packages), and with the Zambia Postal Services to manufacture and market postcards and souvenirs for natural and cultural tourism attractions, to boost global tourism arrivals and entrepreneurship-driven national economic transformation activities.
"Startups can flourish in all parts of the world, not just well-established tech hubs like Silicon Valley,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. "Edwin Zulu is an experienced ecosystem builder who will help develop Zambia’s startup ecosystem and regenerate growth following the impacts of the global pandemic."
“Zambia’s entrepreneurs need clear public and private business development systems to succeed,” Zulu added. “GEN Zambia will be at the forefront of advocating for both physical and virtual 24/7 infrastructure development, including the accelerators, incubators, and business hubs needed to support Zambia’s emerging entrepreneurs across sectors.”
Zulu concluded his remarks by thanking Mrs. Mukwandi Chibesakunda, CEO of ZANACO PLC, her management team and board, for the financial support that allowed GEN Zambia to participate in the 2022 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He also thanked the Honorable Elias Mubanga, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and his Permanent Secretary Mrs. Yvonne Mpundu, for their leadership and support to act on cross-border collaboration and trade opportunities made at GEC 2022. He also thanked Mr. Kennedy Mumba, the New Director of Business Development and Grants for his formal pledge and commitment to explore a mutually-beneficial partnership and strategic collaborations on various projects and initiatives aimed at enhancing the delivery of impactful business development support services and other need-based support to local businesses during a courtesy meeting at their Ministry offices on Friday, August 12, 2022.