After finding himself unable to graduate from the University of Botswana, Erizarah Zede decided to go back home to Selebi-Phikwe.
There he joined a steel fabrication company as a way of making a living.
However, two years later, Zede found himself stranded again after he was fired from the job.
He then established his own steel fabrication company, Zed Metal Works.
The company was registered in October 2016 with help from the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), which has been playing a mentorship role in the company and has also assisted the company in sourcing funding for operations.
Zed Metal Works manufactures sliding gates, mobile kitchens, sign boards, trailers, security doors and many other steel works.
“I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and be my own man, something that has always been a part of me growing up both during and after my school days,” he says. “This is mostly because I was born and raised in a family that ran a small welding business.
“Growing up in that environment provided me with vast experience in work.”
After being fired, Zede found himself with no assets to stand on his own. A friend of his father’s gave him an old non-functioning oil welding machine and a new grinder, which he used to start the business, operating from his home.
“My first project, since I did not
“I put everything into re-engineering that gate and the final product caught the attention of my neighbour who enquired about it and later requested that I make a gate for him.
“This was the breakthrough as more orders started coming in as people were amazed by my work.”
Zede says even though he produces what is already available in the market, he distinguishes his work through innovation and the attention to detail he employs when making his products.
“Besides the innovation in ideas, the customer orders have to be manufactured and delivered in a specified period of time. This attention to time, quality and our pricing are amongst factors that set us apart from our competition,” he says.
Even though the business has been doing well, the young entrepreneur wants to start other small businesses to create other streams that will help him sustain the main business in times of need.
He says this will also help him in expanding the main business, as he would not have to rely on the main business for an income.