Launched in 2013, Impact Enterprises is the first BPO company in Zambia using impact sourcing to establish a digital industry with the aim of curbing youth unemployment in the country. Impact Enterprises provides services such as Lead Generation, Content Moderation, AI Enrichment, Order Management, Data Entry & Web Research for Start Ups, Front and Back Offices of companies as well as Research Firms. In their first year of operation, Impact Enterprises hired over 70 Data Specialists and grew by 30% month over month. The company has been very successful accruing more than 55 clients to date and has delivered more than 300,000 hours of work for their clients. President and co-founder of Impact Enterprises, Dan Sutera had initially introduced Impact Network, an e-learning curriculum to thousands of children and the inspiration for Impact Enterprises came from the realisation that “while improving educational prospects for Zambian youth is a good thing, it is not much use if there are no jobs upon graduation.” Impact Enterprises was subsequently launched when Dan Sutera teamed up with Dimitri Zakharov and Brett Stickels to create the company with a for-profit model, thus generating enough capital to create local jobs at scale. A partnership with local ‘Highcom ICT Training Institute’ allows Impact to hire skilled talent whilst providing valuable employment and opportunities for the digital-industry trained youth of Zambia to improve their skills and compete on a global scale. Impact Enterprises is already making a long-lasting impact on the fledgling Zambian digital-industry with their pioneering enterprise.
Founded in 2016 by charismatic CEO, Gilbert Mwale, eMsika is an e-commerce/m-commerce store that simply put, helps farmers source agricultural inputs. In Mwale’s own words, the platform helps farmers “find, buy and receive agricultural inputs in a fast, trustworthy and convenient way; then it also helps them access markets for their produce.” Furthermore, eMsika makes it possible for farmers to contact suppliers and conduct business in their local language. eMsika lists suppliers and displays each product item sold by each supplier allowing buyers to perform efficient price comparison before purchase. Currently eMsika lists over 300 products in 10 different categories of agricultural inputs. Since most suppliers are based in the country’s capital Lusaka, many farmers lose precious time and money by having to travel a long distance for supplies whilst also risking costly accidents and theft. After harvest, Zambian farmers face further difficulties selling their produce, lacking a reliable market. To motivate the farmer’s efforts, eMsika provides a more efficient and affordable process for both supplies sourcing and selling produce; this includes m-commerce for farmers in areas with no internet and a call centre for those who want more information on products before purchasing. Besides reaching customers via the website, texts/phone calls and social media; eMsika has a network of freelance agents who provide information to farmers and prove compliance with governmental and sectorial regulations thus ensuring a trustworthy relationship with farmers. After being funded into existence, eMsika is now generating enough revenue to grow and has already expanded beyond Zambia’s borders, servicing regional countries, Zimbabwe, the DRC, Namibia and Mozambique with a view to spread across the African continent though partnerships with local companies.
InspireMe Trading (‘EasyCook’)
With a vision to keep Zambians healthy by reducing the time it takes for them to prepare the local food they love, Sara Lungu Chiumphe founded EasyCook in late 2016; “a brand of tasty and nutritious packaged traditional local foods like Katapa (Cassava Leaves) that can be cooked in 15 minutes…..or can be cooked conveniently in less than half the normal time.” Their product list includes local favourites such as,
- Instant 15 minutes Cook Cassava Leaves
- Cassava Leaves Soup
- Beans Soup
- Avocado Dressing
- Onion Pickle
Zambia has a big market for fast consuming foods which like elsewhere normally come in less healthy forms or the healthy and organic options are expensive. EasyCook is positioning itself well as a solution by offering traditional favourites also reputed for their healthiness with quick preparation times and at an affordable price. EasyCook regularly post healthy recipes incorporating their products via social media and a blog as a means of marketing and concurrently encouraging the population to eat healthy. Further marketing is through agents who sell the product and earn a commission. In Lusaka, and select Copperbelt and Southern Province towns, EasyCook products can be purchased and delivered from fresh.shopzed.com. Purchases can also be made from their Facebook page or through the various agents. As the company grows the InspireMe EasyCook brand has the potential to become a nationwide brand stocked in local stores across the whole of Zambia and maybe even globally for the Zambian diaspora. Written by: Caleb R. Kutaika