ICT Innovation Fund Not Manna From Heaven

GOVERNMENT recently invited applications for the $30 million ICT Innovation fund that is meant to bolster innovation and creativity amongst startups and young ICT players.

According to the Postal Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), the funds are payable after a certain period and they are coming in the form of loans.

Deputy Editor TechnoMag 

Zimbabwean youths have over the years developed a habit of taking government funds and blowing them on other extra terrestrial activities without paying back a single dime. 

Politicisation of public funds has also become a major menace to government initiatives as government or line ministers convert the funds into some campaign freeby or handout at the expense of government.

Indigenisation Minister Patrick Zhuwawo

The indigenisation fund for example suffered a humongous miscarriage and tales of its failure have spread to beyond the heavens, even God knows the Indigenisation Youth Development Fund (YDF) was a gigantic flop owing to the  huge Non performing ratio .

Results from most of the gatherings obtained by the indigestion committee indicated that most of the beneficiaries would Ex-Japanese vehicles, while some would marry three even wives each, throw lavish parties till they dropped, more like the biblical prodigal son.

Anyway what would you expect from somebody who just wakes up one day with $5000 in his account, money that he hasn’t even worked for or planned for.

One thing that led to this nasty turn of events was the lack of proper financial management training beforehand.

Startups at a TechFest held in Bualwayo recently

Most of these youths who benefited, had not a single clue on how to write a business proposal or run a business.

To those who invested in their businesses, some just died prematurely owing to lake of proper management skills.

Surprisingly most if not all those who defaulted are today roaming the streets and government has done nothing to recover the 92% which went down the drain.

Unlike the indigenisation fund, POTRAZ has vehemently outlined the application criteria and the processes involved for one to be a beneficiary. One thing that must be seriously noted is that one’s business plan and proposal must captivate the adjudicators in-order for one to get the funding.

No matter how sexy one’s proposal might be, if it fails to address the recommended areas, and falls short of the demands of government, then it is food for the dust bin.

These proposals and ideas have to be realistic, don’t go out of your way proposing that you want to develop an App that ensures you talk to God on snap-chat, No, be realistic and simple, that way the funding is guaranteed.

POTRAZ also says the idea must be one life-changing one, one that provides a solution to some of the challenges bedeviling government and the country at large.

The deadline for ICT Innovation Fund applications is (30 May 2017), all the best and may the best idea win.

The ICT Innovation Fund has no minimum fees or maximum ceiling for any submission, but the Innovative Idea should be should be able to state and support its own business case for financial assistance. 


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