How easy is it to do business in a foreign country?

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Gladys Mawoneke

Aurra Kawanzura
According to reports about 50 percent of Zimbabwe’s population does not drink alcohol, and about 60 percent of those people are women. Non-alcoholic beverages in Zimbabwe are typically limited to cordials and soft drinks as well as long time bubbly favourites like Carimba.

Gladys Mawoneke is a Zimbabwean entrepreneur based in South Africa. When she was looking for a gap in the market, she realised that there are very few sophisticated soft beverages for South African adults who choose not to drink. After three years of painstaking research, she believed she had created something special: a sophisticated craft soft beverage that is designed for the professional non-drinker. It’s called Breva, derived from the word ‘brave’.

Initially launched in South Africa, the brand has found its way into stores like Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Spar, Shoprite and Checkers. Three years after launch Breva is now making its way into Zimbabwe, Glady’s country of birth.

With the current drive behind the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ message, ease of doing business is one of the most important aspects the country needs to get right for foreigners and locals alike who are looking to set up shop in Zimbabwe. Business Weekly TV had an opportunity to sit down with Mawoneke who was in the country to launch Breva in Victoria Falls.

Of particular interest in the interview was Mawoneke’s account of the successes and challenges of setting up a business as a foreigner in South Africa.

“When I started Breva I had been in South Africa for a very long time and being an attorney I knew some of the laws regarding business. South Africa is a difficult country generally for black foreigners, but I find that for business, it’s not as hostile.

“The Department of Trade and Industry in South Africa is supportive of business, irrespective of the nationality of the person who starts the business. That’s because there’s a huge drive to create employment and employment is created by any nationality as long as you have a business. So I’ve been supported immensely by the Department of Trade and Industry, in fact I credit the government of South Africa for the success of my business because of the amount of support that they gave me.

 

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