Degree holders struggling to become business owners – BOZ survey


Degree holders struggling to become business owners – BOZ survey

A survey conducted by the Bank of Zambia – BOZ in corroboration with the Ministry of Finance and Zamstats has revealed that only about 3% of Masters degree and other higher qualifications have successfully managed to set up and transition to become business owners.

Business ownership as opposed to being employed is considered vital for economic growth as this reduces the burden on government for expanding an already bloated government payroll. A country having more successful local Business owners also leads to more job creation in the private sector as well as forex retention were export is achieved.

According to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises – MSME Finance survey report made available to the Zambian Business Times – ZBT, Zambians of No tertiary qualifications were almost at par with those of masters degree at 2.4% and 2.8% of those who confirmed of being business owners.

However, Diploma holders were the highest at 43%, followed by Certificate holders at about 30% while first Degree holders were third at about 22% of the total of about about 1.4 million Zambians that owned a business.

Successive government, including the new dawn government, under pressure to create jobs, have resorted to mass employment into the civil service, a move that is lauded in the short term but with dire consequences in the medium to long term as pressure mounts on the treasury while the tax base remains stagnant.

Government should instead drive private sector growth, encourage local business ownership and formalization of business entities as a sustainable way to not only grow the tax revenue base, but create productive employment and jobs for the youths.

The survey report also revealed the urgent need for policy and business reforms that will enable a conducive environment for the thriving of local businesses and business owners. Some of the key recommendation include policy directives to make affordable credit or loans available, enactment of tailored and preferential tax legislation, reduced documentation requirements for local businesses as well as mindset and financial literacy enhancements.-Zambian Business Times


  1. Having been through our education system from primary, secondary, tertiary (certificate, degree and masters) I came to realize that of all the qualifications I got my best was the Certificate in Animal Health and Production. The diploma degree masters was time wasting.
    Why do I say so the teaching approach at degree and above is to creat managers who by the time of their graduation are so empty of any other skill apart from the theory presented to them on a paper called a degree or masters.
    Now life dynamics have changed. There are literally no jobs for anyone except what one can create through self innovation. GRZ jobs are not guaranteed.
    Now those who graduate with degrees sometimes have a sence of self importance as if to say a big job must wait for them upon graduation.
    They can’t sell freezit, popcorn, tute or sweets on the streets because of the I have a degree ego.
    You will age with only two properties, a paper called a degree and a gown, all useless properties. Knowledge is only benefitial if you can apply it and get tangible results out of that knowledge if not it’s junk.


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