Company information

Capital gains

Since it was founded in 2011, Brainworks Capital has deployed over £60m of capital in Zimbabwe. The investment holding and advisory company focuses on Zimbabwe and select markets in Sub-Saharan Africa: its first investment was in Ecobank Zimbabwe and it has since built up a diversified portfolio across the financial services, hospitality, real estate and logistics sectors.

“Our approach is to acquire controlling stakes in companies with robust business models that demonstrate strong potential to attract reputable international operating partners who can co-invest with us,” explains CEO and Chief Investment Officer George Manyere.

“Once invested, we will grow the business’s top line and pursue aggressive cost-restructuring measures to drive sustainability.”

Brainworks CEO and Chief Investment Officer George Manyere

The company has drawn on its vast experience and extensive networks to deploy capital in a country that presents opportunities for those with an entrepreneurial mindset, according to George. But he adds that business owners need to take a professional approach from the outset.

“Small businesses starting out should not underestimate the importance of openness, transparency and accountability,” he warns.

“A strong corporate governance culture should be in place from the start as this will inspire confidence in potential investors. When we started Brainworks, we had a fully constituted professional board and in that year had our first audit. This inculcated a culture of professionalism and gave our company a different outlook compared to other players.”

Growth has already been impressive and George expects the company to expand further in the coming years. “By combining our corporate advisory skills with our access to global institutional capital and deep local knowledge, we plan to build a $500m company by 2020,” he says. “The next phase is to list on an international exchange, which will raise the company’s profile, provide capital to fund acquisitions and provide a currency to consolidate ownership of our investments.”

“Small businesses starting out should not underestimate the importance of openness, transparency and accountability”