Prospero is a UK aid-funded private sector development entity designed to incentivise investment in innovation that will change the way that market systems work and create new growth opportunities for MSMEs. Formerly Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ), the organisation focuses on the following high-growth potential sectors: food and agriculture, mining and mining services, tourism and hospitality, investment services and business services.
Prospero Zambia seeks to create and strengthen sustainable business partnerships between Zambian small medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large corporations. Their business linkage program provides access to procuring goods and services locally with a socially responsible, gender-sensitive and environmentally sound approach.
Contribute to the creation of 40,600 full time jobs, 40% for women
MSMEs perceived as drivers of job creation and wealth
Help increase MSME profits through greater efficiency
Prospero Zambia business linkage programme intervention aims to work on both demand and supply to deliver systemic, sustainable change. The programme provides technical assistance, mentoring and coaching to ensure local SME suppliers – particularly those that are committed to promoting opportunities for women to have access to corporate value chains and develop the capacity to service corporate sourcing and procurement requirements.
Prospero Zambia has designed a business linkage programme that will take high growth potential SMEs through the following steps
Working on existing linkage initiatives of large buyers
Referrals from Business Member Associations (BMAs) and ZDA
Commitment on both sides
Robust vetting criteria and good matching
Mentoring/coaching of MSMEs and high quality services
Access to finance
A clear plan of action with accountability for results
The business linkage programme focuses on large firms that dominate the economy and local suppliers to help link and lead industries to sectors in which the poor are employed. The programme also aims to link the purchasing power of large businesses to develop micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and transfer technology to enable potentially transformative enterprises to fulfil their potential.
Prospero Zambia focuses on the following high-growth potential sectors:
Food and agriculture: Increasing competitiveness and value of Zambian food products in end consumer markets.
Mining and mining services: Increasing the sustainable and inclusive economic impact of mining in Zambia.
Tourism and hospitality: Increasing the value and proportion of tourist revenues captured by local businesses.
Investment services: Increasing access to sources of impact investment finance for growth-oriented businesses
Business services: Increasing access to business services that support growth-oriented businesses.
Prospero Zambia offers business development services (BDS) that gives small businesses a competitive edge by opening the doors to a wide range of professional services that can help them grow. The Nyamuka Zambia business plan competition aims to support entrepreneurs with business ideas in the process drive the economy forward.
Advocacy - change and improve attitudes towards entrepreneurship
Drive underlying market successes through an integrated approach
Assist individual MSMEs with a range of support options
The MSMEs benefit through networking activities, market access analysis, project funding and public relations consultancy. Prospero Zambia aims to improve the quality, affordability, and access to business development services by providing grant support and providers towards either piloting new/innovative BDS, replicating successful BDS, or deepening BDS access.
Nyamuka Zambia business plan competition
The Nyamuka Zambia initiative influenced ambitious businessmen and women to raise their game and take their ideas to the next level – creating employment and driving the economy forward in the process. It was also tasked with finding a new generation of business heroes and helping them put into place a game plan to grow their enterprises and tap into new markets that the Zambian economy needs.
Nyamuka Zambia provided all competitors with invaluable support and expertise through business planning workshops, coaching and mentoring sessions and many opportunities to network and connect with the wider world of business. In that sense everyone was a winner, with the best talents being substantially rewarded for their innovative business ideas and plans.
Prospero Zambia objective is to provide capital and technical assistance to small and medium enterprises through an impact investment fund. The fund's aim is to create an ecosystem that encourages SME creation and growth that builds a pipeline of well-trained and well-run businesses in Zambia.
Fund plans - create 500-1,000 jobs over a 5-year period
Create £30 million in additional investment
Create £47.6m in value added
Prospero Zambia is targeting an open fund of a ZMW 30m (Zambian Kwacha, $5m equivalent) pool of capital mandated to make investments in the range of ZMW 300k-1.2m ($50-200k equivalent) alongside a technical assistance facility of at least ZMW 15m ($2.5m) to provide ongoing business development services (BDS) to investee companies. This facility should be used to develop business skills and address the overarching concern that SMEs lack the business acumen needed to operate and utilize capital effectively.
The fund plans to target a social and economic impact of creating 500-1,000 jobs over a 5-year period. The actual impact in terms of jobs created and value-add per job will vary depending on which sectors the fund selects for investments. Prospero Zambia recommend that the fund should focus primarily on investing in agribusinesses and businesses in supermarket supply-chains, along with investments in SMEs supplying more capital-intensive sectors such as mining.