I started the film and TV production company in Zimbabwe, where I grew up. I produced over 5 TV programs, documentaries, and films which were screened on our local broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. One of my TV shows (Nu-Generation TV, focusing on mentoring startups and small businesses) was selected for a Southern African platform, Kwese TV, and helped mentor and train people on how to start businesses.
I was continuing to help young people and startups to develop their ideas whilst promoting them using film when I was selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program funded by the U.S. State Department. The program selects the best and brightest minds in Africa and brings them for business training and networking through professional institutes.
During my stay on my first visit, I produced a film about the City of Des Moines (Iowa) funded by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and one of the Yali Fellowships at Drake. The following year, I was invited to bring the films for screening at the Interrobang Film Festival (Des Moines Arts Festival) and the films got a lot of great reviews. During launches and screenings by partners, I was encouraged by the community to set up a company in Iowa to continue making more films, with an emphasis on highlighting minority groups and the black community; promoting their businesses and organizations.
In 2019, I set up the business -Jack’s Shack International- and failed to launch in 2020-2021 because of Covid. We lost a lot of our funding and customers but did not give up. In early 2022 we restarted the business and will focus on producing a number of films that will be housed on a platform we are currently building: africalivenetwork. tv. This is our way to impact the community and keep telling these wonderful stories.
Our business is a production company that focuses on telling stories of minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and black-owned organizations in an effort to make them more visible to the market and increase their revenue. We do this through creating films, documentaries, promos, and ads that showcase their brands with clarity.
The business is located in an office space on Grande Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, and we are developing an online platform to distribute our content. Some of this new content highlights black-owned businesses and organizations in the Des Moines area, diverse cultures that exist within our city, and women and youth empowerment groups.
The business was started in 2019 as an extension of the work that we do in Africa, with a global goal to impact those small business owners who are underrepresented, so they can get an equal opportunity to tell their story in an environment where it is usually more difficult, expensive, and out of reach. Our company will be accessible to the community and will build relationships with partners designed to accelerate growth for the minority groups in the country.
What is the Purpose of This Loan?
We would like to upgrade our camera equipment, lighting, sound, and editing equipment to be able to match the current 4k and upwards standards that the digital media world is evolving into. This will help us to produce more content and service more customers with adequate quality.
We also want to invest in our website development to create a fully functional MVP that will house all the content that we are creating, making it accessible to the community. Our other goals are to be able to increase our online presence through promotions and regular programming that will be supported by the podcasts and vlogs series that we are launching after acquiring this new equipment.
We aim to build good business credit through this facility so that we can later access more financing to launch our platform on a national, and eventually, international scale and also start receiving revenue from it through subscriptions, advertising, and sponsorships.