Inspiring tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

Commentary by Dr Carl Irwin and Francis Grogan Joint CEOs, Zambeef Products PLC

The success stories in this book can act as a catalyst for the next generation of africa’s entrepreneurs. Something extraordinary is happening in Africa. The continent’s growth story is nothing new to global investors; savvy investors have seen the opportunities for high growth and attractive returns for a few years now. But this is different.
There’s a buzz around. A groundswell of young, dynamic entrepreneurs, many educated in Europe and the US, are returning to their home countries with exciting ideas on how to capture – and drive – Africa’s spectacular growth. These entrepreneurs also have the skills and determination to implement those ideas.

It’s that ‘sparkle in the eye’ that Zambeef captured when we started out in 1994 with 60 staff, a rented abattoir and an old Land Rover for deliveries. Today the company is listed on the London and Lusaka stock exchanges, employs more than 6,000 staff and has 171 retail outlets throughout Zambia and West Africa. Inspiration continues to be a key part of that growth, which is why this publication, Companies to Inspire Africa, is so important.

“These entrepreneurs also have the skills and determination to implement those ideas”

By promoting the micro-economic success stories of some of Africa’s fastest-growing companies, we hope that it will inspire global emerging market investors and give them a real sense of the excitement and possibilities that are driving our continent’s future.

This book identifies more than 250 high-growth private companies that are seeking to emulate the success of companies like Zambeef. The report has been produced in association with the African Development Bank and CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance institution and a range of private equity investors. This is of particular significance given that, in 2016, CDC Group completed a $65m equity investment in Zambeef, enabling us to expand our cold chain foods production capacity in order to meet the growing demand for food, both in Zambia and in the surrounding SADC/COMESA regions.

This book profiles the Zambeefs of the future. We wish them well.