A pod has just landed in Harare. Enter Steward Bank Incubation Pod at their Avondale branch in Harare. Steward Bank continues to provide unique services tailored for the Zimbabwean environment. Their latest offering, a co-working space called the ‘incubation pod’ seeks to provide entrepreneurs and innovators a place they can work from. The pod has free WiFi and free coffee, something that has become synonymous with Steward Bank.
Why the incubation Pod?
Most startups struggle with working space, networking and financing. The incubation pod provides unique opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators by offering free business seminars, financial advice and crowdfunding solutions. The pod is a great financial inclusion service for entrepreneurs. Speaking to Tino Tichivangana from the incubation pod she said,’We are holding CFO seminars every Friday from 1000-1100hrs.’ The CFO (Cash Flow Optimiser) is a business financial optimisation tool created by Nigel Chanakira. Steward Bank have fostered a partnership with CFO for the seminars.
Tichivangana also said the incubation pod would be holding weekly business seminars every Friday from 1300-1400 hrs. The seminars will host prominent business people and provide entrepreneurs with vast networking opportunities, skills and potential funding. She also said the pod would be hosting monthly TEDx events.
The pod is open every Friday from 0800-1600 hrs as Steward Bank said they were still assessing the response from customers.
The idea wall
To promote startups, the incubation pod has created what they call ‘the idea wall.’ The idea wall is a portal where entrepreneurs post their business ideas and interested investors provide funding. While Steward Bank is not currently providing direct funding for startups, the idea wall provides a great opportunity for startups. The pod is also working on a crowdfunding solution which will be available on their website soon. Crowd funding is an alternative business funding solution that has become very popular with innovators and entrepreneurs around the world.
What we think
The pod is a great initiative by Steward Bank. The bank continues to push the boundaries by offering innovative and convenient services for entrepreneurs and startups. The bank is already offering a flexible banking service for small businesses. The service, called the ZamaZama account allows small businesses to open bank accounts on less stringent terms than traditional business accounts. Such services are essential in creating a progressive Africa and we encourage entrepreneurs out there to take advantage of such services.
The incubation pod is also a great complement to the Simba Savannah show which Steward Bank sponsors.