ZIMBOS ON FORBES UNDER 30 LIST
Gilbert Eugene Peters, 29, Zimbabwe
Founder: Spidex Media
This story started like many successful entrepreneurship stories. Peters would buy and sell satellite dishes to his community in Harare. Through word of mouth, this business grew until he employed two people. Together, they installed over 2,000 satellite dishes. All this before he was 19 years old. The demand waned and Peters went into formal employment as a graphic designer.
At 21, armed with $300, he registered Spidex Media with the hope of addressing the need for faster advertising and design services in 24 hours.
“I would go where I was needed to design since I had no office, and only a laptop and business cards. I became a CEO, finance manager, marketer and salesman,” says Peters.
His girlfriend at the time, now his wife, provided her entire $160 salary from working as an
ice cream shop attendant to rent office space. The investment paid off.
Today, Spidex has offices in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Zambia. It’s one of the largest advertising companies in Zimbabwe with a majority market share in the financial sector handling brand portfolios worth over $870 million. He has won 12 business and entrepreneurship awards in Zimbabwe, a businessman of the year award at just 25 years old, and employs 55 people.
- Nomvula Mhambi, 29, Zimbabwe
Founder: Disruptive Innovation
when her mother couldn’t afford to take her to university because of the economic and political downturn in Zimbabwe, Mhambi turned to entrepreneurship. She registered a catering and events management company at age 19. She was later invited to work on a concert that featured Akon and Sean Paul. It opened doors.
A year later, she was called to assist with artiste logistics for a concert that hosted Ciara, Phat Joe, Lil’ Kim and DJ Scratch. At age 22, her company was contracted by DStv Zimbabwe to host their Big Brother events. She saw a gap in the advertising industry and founded Disruptive Innovation, a full service media communications and advertising social enterprise.
For the first two years of the business, many doors were shut in her face. When she was close to giving up, she was selected for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) where she won a $25,000 grant towards her restroom advertising pilot project.
“I tackle urban hygiene and sanitation issues using market-based approaches improving public amenities through social innovation initiatives with my advertising and marketing social enterprise,” she says.
Mhambi has partnered with local municipalities, renovating dilapidated public toilets, and charging people for use.
This revenue is used to maintain the sites, assist schools in need of sanitation hardware and help clients get their product to their consumers.
Mhambi also runs a hair and nail lounge and is also into agriculture, growing button and oyster mushrooms, which she supplies to a majority of Zimbabwe’s supermarkets and restaurants producing over 1,000 punnets per week. She employs 25 full-time and 12 part-time staff.
Samuelle Dimairho, 27, Zimbabwe
Co-founder: Chengetedzai Depository Company Limited
Dimairho co-founded Chengetedzai Depository Company Limited, Zimbabwe’s first central securities depository for the capital markets with securities’ deposits that have peaked at over $7 billion and trade settlement now in excess of $2 billion. The company had $1.5 million in revenue last year.
Dimairho is also the founder of Aura Group, a management consulting, technology and business process outsourcing services company expected to turn over $2 million this year.
Dimairho was featured in the Junior Achievement Worldwide, 2011/2012 Africa Annual report on behalf of Zimbabwe, received the top ICT Company Web Developer of the Year 2011 award, was 1st Runner-Up in the Top ICT Company of the Year 2011 award category, and received top ICT Project of the Year 2012 (Public Sector) award. He was also crowned the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Creative Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2014 and also won the Entrepreneurs Organisation Global Student Entrepreneur Award 2014.
Dimairho voluntarily serves as an advisor to the Graduate Development Agency and Young Entrepreneurs Sanctuary Africa, an organization focused on building the soft skills of graduates and mentoring young entrepreneurs. He holds several accounting and business qualifications.