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Business Unusual: Emerging Women Entrepreneurs in a Country in Economic Meltdown: The Case of Zimbabwe

Posted: 31 Mar 2011  

Alain Ndedi

YENEPAD; ISTG-AC; Saint Monica University; University of Johannesburg; University of Pretoria

Date Written: March 30, 2011


The Zimbabwe economy reached a peak in 1997 when the Gross Domestic Product rose (GDP) to Z$25 billion (1990 dollars) and exports exceeded US$3.4 billion. Employment was above 1.4 million. Since the late 1990s, with the political crisis caused by the land reform, there has been accelerating declines in GDP. The result has been a significant deterioration in Zimbabwe’s human rights record, a breakdown in the rule of law, a furthering of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse, and a negative impact throughout southern Africa. The government of Zimbabwe is facing a wide variety of difficult economic problems as it struggles with an unsustainable fiscal deficit, an overvalued official exchange rate, hyperinflation in million percent, and bare store shelves. However, the current economic crisis has lead to the emergence of women entrepreneurs. These groups of women are closing the gap in terms if basic products supply in Zimbabwe.

The current paper analyses these opportunistic entrepreneurs, their source of capital and how they manage the day to day pressures while they are involved in their business. The first part of this paper provides the key rationales of this contribution in regard to the current economic situation existing in Zimbabwe. The second part explains the concept of entrepreneurship and the characteristics of entrepreneurs. Finally a strategic framework for an effective and efficient entrepreneurial spirit is developed in order to assist these Zimbabwean opportunistic entrepreneurs to sustain their ventures.

Keywords: Zimbabwe, entrepreneurship

Suggested Citation

Ndedi , Alain, Business Unusual: Emerging Women Entrepreneurs in a Country in Economic Meltdown: The Case of Zimbabwe (March 30, 2011). Available at SSRN:

Alain Aime Ndedi (Contact Author)


PO Box 30069
Pretoria, Pretoria 0135
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ISTG-AC ( email )

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Saint Monica University ( email )

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University of Johannesburg ( email )

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University of Pretoria ( email )

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