Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises in Zimbabwe

What has been done:

The enabling environment for sustainable enterprises in Zimbabwe was assessed through a careful review of secondary data, findings from a national perception survey of workers and employers (including owners and managers of companies) in the country and a literature review. The Zimbabwe EESE survey was conducted in early 2017 in overall six cities/areas: Harare, Bulawayo, Vic Falls, Mutare, Midlands, and Chitungwiza. The survey focused on 8 of the 17 conditions, which were prioritized by tripartite constituents at the consultative workshop held in October 2016 in Harare.

The Survey and its sample:

The 580 respondents were drawn from Enterprises from the sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, financial services and construction. 56 percent of the respondents were from formal enterprises and 44 percent were from informal ones. 66 percent of the interviewees were male and 34 percent female; 53 percent of enterprises were not unionized, and 47 percent were unionized. Of the respondents 39.8 percent were business owners, 35.3 percent identified as managers, 24.5 percent identified as employees and 0.4 percent responded as ‘others’. Of the respondents 22.9 percent were from manufacturing firms, 3.4 percent were from mining, 19.2 percent were from agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing, 17.2 percent were from tourism and hospitality, 14 percent from finance or insurance, 8.9 percent identified their sector as SME, and 0.7 identified as other. 85.4 percent of respondents were from enterprises that had municipal business licenses, with 14.6 percent remaining unregistered.


Based on the EESE assessment, several issues were discussed and indicated by tripartite constituents as major constraints for doing business in Zimbabwe. It was said that the present political situation is not conducive to enterprise creation and growth. The lack of good governance, and in particular widespread corruption and mismanagement of public finance, are other factors hindering business development. Weak political institutions, especially public ones, further limit the business potential of the country. It was agreed that efforts to improve the business environment should be concentrated on areas which are key for the ILO and its constituents, and which are not the focus of actions already being undertaken by national stakeholders and international donors. An action plan with specific outputs stemming from outcomes linked to priority areas and key players for action has been drafted by tripartite participants. The action plan will be finalized and adopted following the launch of the EESE report.