Business people have been urged to approach the government with practical solutions on how to stimulate economic growth in the country.

The call was made by the Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Monica Mutsvangwa at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Business Awards held in Mutare.

Cde Mutsvangwa, who was also honoured for setting the tone for attracting investment in the Eastern Highlands, said challenges facing the country require all Zimbabweans to rally together to solve them.

“The business community has a key role in complementing government efforts especially now that we want to stimulate economic growth,” she said.

The business community in attendance also emphasised the need for innovation as well as ensuring that they also increase their corporate social responsibility footprint.

“As business people, it may not be so rosy but this is the time to innovate. There is need for young people to work on their dreams and their vision,” an entrepreneur, Mr Tendai Chitowa said.

“While there may be complaints that business is down, there is also need to think about those who are also less fortunate. This is critical as business ultimately thrives because of the people around us,” a farmer, Mr Silas Kaja said.

Founder of the Eat‘n’Lick fast food outlets, Mr Isiah Musabayana took home the coveted Businessman of the Year Award, while Mrs Rachel Mugwagwa was the Female Entrepreneur of the Year.

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) CEO, Dr Morris Mpofu won the Business Leadership Award, with the firm’s social responsibility efforts also landing them another accolade.

Rusape Town Council scooped the Governance and Service Delivery Award, as well as the Overall Performance for Urban Local Authorities Award.

Zanu PF legislative candidate for Chimanimani East Constituency bagged the Rural Businessman of the Year award.

The ZNCC awards are an annual event meant to reward those who have made a major imprint on the business front.