Old Mutual Supports Young Entrepreneurs
Old Mutual, the nation’s leading financial services provider, has launched the Eight2Five Innovation Hub in partnership with Udugu Institute. The Hub will capacitate youth-run start-ups, while increasing innovation capabilities within the business.
Through the Hub, Old Mutual will also build its product offering. To do this, it will create partnerships with start-ups and entrepreneurs. Udugu Institute seeks to help young innovators and innovation to thrive as they work to create the future of Africa. Its partnership with Old Mutual will drive this vision forward.
Innovation is the cornerstone of Old Mutual. Sam Matsekete, Old Mutual Group CEO, shared that the launch of Eight2Five signifies an essential element of Old Mutual’s evolution as a business. “Current times are changing very fast. There seem to be more complexities, demanding more solutions,” he said. “Therein lies the biggest opportunity of today: to innovate and continue to innovate solutions. Innovation should be the cornerstone of any organization that has the customer at heart. By innovating, we continue to create value for the benefit of customers and all stakeholders.”
Lillian Mbayiwa, Old Mutual Head of Group Marketing and Innovation, reinforced the significance of the Eight2Five Hub launch and Old Mutual\’s customer-centric vision. “Without customers, we become irrelevant. Customer needs are continually changing. The product, service or idea we offer may be exactly what our customer needs today, but tomorrow they may need something else. In order to stay on top of our customer’s needs, we saw it fit to create a catalyst that will incubate our innovations,” she said. “The Eight 2Five innovation Hub will find and develop new ideas to keep our valuable customers engaged, and to steer the nation’s economy towards a brighter and more successful future.”
Honourable Kirsty Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sports, Art and Recreation applauded Old Mutual for believing in the youth of Zimbabwe. She also lauded Old Mutual for providing youth with a Hub that is world-class standard. Young Zimbabweans are adaptable and are consistently working to transform their lives. They seek to shine on the global stage despite challenges. Honourable Coventry said “Talent is equally spread but opportunity is not. By launching Eight2Five, Old Mutual is creating an opportunity for young people. It’s up to them to grab the opportunity with both hands and run with it. You may stumble and fall, but the Old Mutual team is here to help you over the finish line.” The Ministry of Youth, Sports, Art and Recreation will be a key partner in the growth of the Hub and the development of youth.
Based at 3 Anchor House in Harare, the Hub will house young entrepreneurs representing various sectors. These include insurance technology, financial technology and the creative sector. The Hub provides a co-working space that includes hot desks, private offices, meeting rooms, and an auditorium for hosting events. The Hub will also run incubation programmes that assist start-ups to formalise their businesses, and acceleration programmes that will help small businesses get to the next level and prepare for investor engagement.
Value Creation Challenge
In creating Eight2Five, Old Mutual sought the voices of young entrepreneurs, who were instrumental in identifying the challenges facing them and their needs from an impactful Hub. Old Mutual has listened to the invaluable feedback and set programming at the Hub in motion. Therefore, the Value Creation Challenge, in partnership with the British Council, ran from 2019 until mid-2020.
The Value Creation Challenge assisted entrepreneurs to access seed capital, mentorship, and business support for their businesses. The challenge’s 3 winning companies have been awarded their seed capital, and are now entering an acceleration programme run by Stimulus Africa at the Eight2Five Hub. This assists entrepreneurs to make financially sound decisions that will further capacitate their businesses. Old Mutual are currently finalising the 2021 Value Creation Challenge. It will be announced on social media and in the press at the beginning of 2021.
For more information about the Eight2Five Innovation Hub, contact:
Facebook: Old Mutual Zimbabwe and Eight2Five Innovation Hub
Twitter: @OldMutualZW and @eight2fivehub