The British Council Harare, with support from Old Mutual Zimbabwe, brought the Young Creative Entrepreneur Award (YCE) to Zimbabwe for the first time this year. This programme is part of the British Council worldwide and is being introduced here as an initiative to enhance Zimbabwe’s creative economy. YCE is a unique global programme that identifies and celebrates innovators who are enriching creative industries through successful business.
The equal focus on ‘creative’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ is the key element of the award. YCE recognises people who are finding new audiences and sustainable business models for creative enterprises. The programme zeroes in on the people shaping our creative future – testing new models and ideas – and having a positive economic, cultural and social impact on both local and global communities.
Who can benefit from this award? YCE is aimed at emerging leaders in creative businesses who are able to make international connections and to use these to benefit others locally. YCE alumni worldwide are game-changers.
The YCE Award was presented in two categories this year. The first category, Live Music, was awarded to Ngonidzashe Mapani. Mapani is the Executive Arts Director of Musiqlef, an arts strategy company working in artist management, events coordination, music education and live entertainment. Mapani’s award won him the chance to participate in a shared tour of the UK’s live music sector this past May, including three days at The Great Escape – Europe’s leading festival for new music. This programme allows winners to gain unique access and insights into the UK music industry, providing an opportunity to make business contacts that will act as a springboard for future business and collaborations.
The second category, the Culture Award, went to Shamiso Ruzvidzo, founder and Director of both the Catherine Ruze Modelling Agency and the new fashion enterprise, Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe, which premiered last year. Ruzvidzo was selected to attend the Remix Summit in London along with YCE winners from over fourteen countries all over the world this past July.
The Remix Summit was founded to explore the intersection between culture, technology and entrepreneurship. The winners had unique access to the UK creative and start-up cultural environment, a chance to speak at the Remix Summit to an audience of cultural professionals and creative entrepreneurs, peer networking with international participants and access to master classes. It also provided an opportunity to make a range of business contacts that will act as a springboard for future business collaborations between the UK and the award-winner’s local community.
The call for applications for the YCE Award comes early in the year and is open to entrepreneurs who are working in the creative sectors and who have been in business for seven years or less. Winners fly to the UK to participate in an all expenses paid trip, courtesy of the British Council. The British Council is one of Zimbabwe’s critical arts and culture supporters and facilitators and helps to create international opportunities for Zimbabweans and the people of the UK to build co-operation between them worldwide. Check out the British Council website for more information: www.britishcouncil.co.zw.
This month, check out YCE Award-winner Shamiso Ruzvidzo’s ground-breaking event which launched last year, Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe, featuring fashion shows, an eclectic food market and live music from October 24–26 at the Barclays Bank Sports Club in Mount Pleasant. See the Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe Facebook page for more details.