Bulawayo youth entrepreneurial journey
Laurel Murangaridzirayi, [email protected]
SOON after graduating from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), Mr Shadowlit Ndou (33) decided to venture into entrepreneurship by forming his own companies in pursuit of his childhood dream.
For Mr Ndou, the innovative initiative, which is rooted in Heritage-Based Education 5.0, is a culmination of hard work, dedication and commitment.
Through Heritage-Based Education 5.0, Government is implementing a transformative graduate employment creation and development programme with the primary goal of nurturing employment creators as opposed to employment seekers.
Since the adoption of Education 5.0, local universities and polytechnics have become centres of innovative business ideas as they contribute to addressing national interest issues and effectively solving societal challenges.
This is part of the Second Republic’s efforts to ensure that universities and colleges add value to the country’s aggressive development agenda.
Pursuant to the Heritage-Based Education 5.0, in 2015, Mr Ndou formed three companies which are Express Fuels, Elite Disinfectants and The Gap Company which specialises in construction and engineering.
Harnessing his full potential through hard work, the young entrepreneur has managed to spread his wings to neighbouring South Africa and Zambia amid plans to penetrate the entire Sadc region.
Mr Ndou, a former Nust Student Representative Council (SRC) member and Enactus president graduated in 2015 with an honours degree in risk management and insurance.
The Gap Company has been contracted to undertake a number of big projects both locally and internationally. The company provides engineering and construction services to individuals, companies and communities.
The company does interior designs, structural engineering and construction work. It employs over 60 people in the three countries.
In Zimbabwe the company has branches in Bulawayo, Masvingo and Harare
Mr Ndou has won tenders to implement national projects that have helped transform the country.
Some of the notable projects that Mr Ndou’s company has been contracted to work on include the refurbishment of the National Sports Stadium, construction works at Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) and Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) among others.
“Through hard work, focus and determination one is able to reach their ultimate goal. The very first day I started my entrepreneurial journey my objective was writing my own success story and I am glad I have managed to fulfil my childhood dream,” he said.
Mr Ndou started off at a consultancy firm working with his close friend Mr Natasha Alick. “I started my business with consultancy and we were getting a few clients but making profits which I used to grow my business,” he said. After seven months, Mr Ndou formed a company and joined hands with Engineer Offias Madzivire.
“We started doing small jobs earning about US$2 000 per month and with time we grew the company. In 2017 when the country faced fuel shortages, I formed another company, Express Fuels and started supplying fuel to individuals, businesspeople and organisations,” he said. At the height of Covid- 19, the company was closed due to lockdown restrictions and he formed another company dealing with disinfectants.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw another opportunity to generate money since there were few companies that supplied disinfectants in the country. We got a lot of tenders to supply disinfectants.”
The Gap Company last year opened branches in Zambia and South Africa where it sources most of its raw materials.
Mr Ndou attributes his success to mastering the core pillars of ideology that he learnt from his participation at Nust Enactus. Today he has defied the odds to become a successful businessman.
Recently Mr Ndou was awarded Nust Alumni of the Year 2023 for Enactus and will be representing the country in the Enactus World Cup. Enactus is a club for university students who are making an impact in communities through implementing life-changing projects.