and Paul Mavima
SNV has hosted a Green Innovators Hub learning and Sharing event to bring together stakeholders in the green innovation business and better inform them on available partnerships.
The event which was hosted by SNV in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture was attended by innovators and corporates and parastatals within the energy sector.
The hub is in line with government’s policy mapping exercise and will strengthen youth’s participation in employment creation.
“The initiative is in line with government’s thrust of achieving an upper middle economy by 2030. Furthermore, considering that the youth are the future, this should strengthen the efforts of employment creation for the youth as the innovators ought to create employment” The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Recreation Dr Chitepo said.
The event explored funding lines that innovators within the ‘green’ business could explore in order to meet the high capital demands of venturing into the ‘green’ business.
“We concentrate on funding climate change adaptation and clean energy space. We have realized that the funding that is mainly accessible within this line of business mainly grants and require high capitalization. We therefore offer organisations, companies and individuals capital loans of between US$1million and US$50 Million.” PFAN Country Director Chandirekera Makuyana said.
The youth were argued to be reluctant to seek funding for their green innovative projects as the uptake on green innovation loans was still low.
“We have funded a lot of projects from the youth but am quite sure that the uptake on green innovation projects is low. We have turned down other loan applications owing to viability challenges and there is need for youth to be aware of the requisites for one’s application to be considered.” The Empower Bank Harare Branch Manager, Ebony Chipfumbu said.
The event called for innovative projects to be regularly presented for partnerships as innovative projects remained low.
“There are few innovative projects that are being tabled for assessment, consideration, and partnership. We have had a guy who is making chairs through waste tires and we have helped him market his products aswell as created platforms from which he has sought partnerships.” EMA Environmental Education and Publicity Officer for Harare Metropolitan Province, Batsirai Sibanda said.
There were calls for the need to protect the intellectual property of Innovators as the lack of such realized losses in intellectual property by innovators.
“We are heavily engaged in the process of helping innovators in the process of protecting intellectual property. We believe that a lot of innovators lose their ideas to capitalists and there is need for their ideas to be protected. We work with ARIPO in the region and other global partners.” Makuyana also said.
There was commitment from Marketing companies to try and help green innovators in marketing for easier market visibility.
“As Marketing Association of Zimbabwe, MAZ, we are engaged in Marketing, Public Relations and Corporate Reputation Training courses. We urge green innovators to consider being part of this initiative so as to better place them in issues to do with marketing and product placement.” Melody Makaya the MAZ Events Organiser said.
The workshop also saw innovators and key stakeholders exhibiting the green innovators products they had on offer and the potential for synergies.