Paul Makaya, 26, from Zimbabwe is founder and CEO, Bergast House, a Digital design and marketing company. It’s not easy doing business in a country perennially in an economic crisis. But Paul Makaya is defying the odds in Zimbabwe.
With just the $200 he had saved up, Makaya and his friends invested it in 2016 and rented a miniature one-room office space that had only two chairs. This was only the beginning of Bergast House, a company that offers strategy, public relations, digital and design services. Today, the two chairs he started the business with have quintupled, as they now have a team of 10 and can gladly say they have worked with numerous organizations including software giant Microsoft. “The initial trigger was obviously frustration about the limitations of being an employee, but in that sense as well, I felt that as a young, dynamic person, there was so much more that I could offer to the industry,” he tells Forbes Africa. “I also felt we had a part to play in the rise of the African continent. Our vision is to rebrand Africa and this is our purpose.” The company has served over 103 clients including Zuva Petroleum, Astro Mobile, Maranatha Group of Schools, the Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe, Tech24, the Chartered Institute of Customer Management, Steward Bank, and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, delivering an advertising value of up to $175 million.
Makaya has been listed on the Gumiguru 40 Under 30 list of emerging Zimbabwean leaders and in 2019, was selected to be the vice curator of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Harare Hub. He is also a founding member of the Zimbabwe National Youth Awards, an annual event which seeks to identify, award, celebrate and develop exceptional young Zimbabweans in all sectors of the country’s economy. Makaya plans to grow the business into countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Namibia.