by Chibozu Maambo
During the month of April, it was announced that Inter-Market Bank is holding a venture competition. This ongoing competition requires teams from diverse institutes to each come up with a viable business plan that is innovative and can be of help to the economy of the nation, Zambia. The whole idea behind the competition is to empower youths from Universities and Colleges with resources to develop innovations that can help create employment opportunities.
The Zed Bionic of Northrise University is part and parcel of the competition. This team of five comprises 4th year Business Administration students namely Lyle Doogan, Ignitius Chella, Choongo Hamoonga, Chisanga Bwalya and Phenias . Zed Bionic’s business plan is about manufacturing organic fertilizer from treated human waste. They were driven to find an innovative idea that would help in sustaining the agriculture industry and promote eco-friendliness. Their target market would be the local and small scale farmers especially those that grow vegetables and bananas.
84 Teams submitted their Executive Summaries and out of that lot only 10 were selected to move on to the next round. The 10 teams were then asked to hand in their business plans. After careful analysis of the plans, the teams were cut down to 4 with Northrise University’s Zed Bionic soldiering on. These four teams are expected to make their final presentations before the judges on 16th July 2010 in Lusaka. Among others, the Bank of Zambia Governor, Dr. Caleb Fundanga, will be gracing the occasion and the announcement of the winning team will be made in the evening of the same day. The winning team will walk away with a sum of ZMK108, 000,000 to start their business. This prize is a loan that will attract concessionary interest terms.
As part of evaluation, last week the teams were given 5 Million Zambian Kwacha each and asked to make an investment in a period of 10 days. Each team will be awarded points according to the returns on investment.
In an interview, Chisanga Bwalya, the only lady on the team said that this is a great venture and who knows it could be the ticket to her life long dream of starting a business. “What an opportunity!” she said. When asked if she really wanted to win this, she merrily said, “Who wouldn’t want to win a 100 Million Kwacha. Dah! We will keep our fingers crossed and prepare adequately”
Northrise University is proud of these students, their hard work and dedication has indeed brought them thus far. Through this business plan, they have demonstrated that there is a better way to farm, which is economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Northrise University will continue to support students and initiatives designed to uplift the general living standards of society.