Ben Jammaine Ncube is a passionate entrepreneur from Zimbabwe. He is the CEO of Men’s Health Clinic Zimbabwe, a medical institution which provides healthcare services for men, in an environment which is adapted to suit their needs. The clinic specializes in the management and treatment of sexual-reproductive health problems such as erectile dysfunctions, and premature ejaculation.
His business was born with the purpose of giving help and support to African men, who are often required to be strong and tough and are not allowed to show any weakness, nor physical, neither mental. Ben wanted to change this situation and to find a remedy to this problem.
For this reason, after getting a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB), he decided to set up his own business and then enrol in the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship, to develop the skills necessary for him to make his clinic grow.
“The MBA program offered by E4Impact is different from other programs as it trains the entrepreneur to specifically develop and meet his business needs. This is exactly what I needed when I enrolled for this program. Quite different from other programs, which are very broad, and focus on general business concepts.”
“To date, the clinic has treated over 6000 men, whilst 7000+ have been reached
through extensive awareness campaigns”
Along with the skills and knowledge acquired along the MBA, his business has grown a lot and today it is having the impact he has always dreamt of.
“To date, the clinic has treated over 6000 men, whilst 7000+ have been reached through extensive awareness campaigns. Our services include medical consultations, diagnostic tests, counselling, and support. Our vision is to be a healthcare oasis for every man in Africa. This is in line with our drive to promote access to healthcare for men as our effort towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal number 3.“
But let’s learn more about it!
1. How was your Business Idea born?
It’s so hard being a man in Africa. You must be a provider, and a protector of those around you, often times neglecting yourself. I realized that men had no safe spaces to receive healthcare and mental support such as counselling. The need to remedy this problem led to the birth of Men’s Health Clinic Zimbabwe.
2. How can your business improve the life of the beneficiaries of your activities?
Men are generally reluctant to seek healthcare services even when they feel unwell, and this is mostly due to social norms of masculinity. The clinic makes it easier for them to seek medical attention by offering privacy and facilities which meet all their needs. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, 38% of men who were treated at the clinic had not seen a doctor in the preceding 12 months, despite reporting being ill in the same period. This, I feel, demonstrates the impact that we are making in improving male healthcare seeking behaviors and improving their access to healthcare. In so doing, my business improves the quality of life for our clients, and possibly their life expectancy too.
3. What has been the main challenge you had to overcome in your entrepreneurial experience?
Covid-19! No amount of strategy and foresight could have prepared me for this pandemic. As a medical clinic, ongoing operations immediately became a risk to my team. Patients struggled to come for services because of safety concerns and travel restrictions. My business essentially closed; but in this period, I became more innovative than before. Eventually we developed competencies to deliver our services online, and this totally changed the landscape of the business. Healthcare must be accessible from anywhere, and technology can help us to break down that barrier. We have developed a web based platform where all the services of the clinic can be accessed remotely from anywhere in the Country. I feel that this challenge has been more of a blessing, as it unlocked innovation and potential in my business.
4. In your opinion, what are the main qualities an entrepreneur should have?
Passion! I think passion is the most important quality an entrepreneur should have. Passion is what keeps you going when the business is struggling; passion is what makes you innovative in the face of adversity. Passion is the key ingredient which evokes other qualities such as discipline, dedication and assertiveness. When you are passionate about your business, and your work, then you are bound to succeed because failure is simply not an option. Find passion in your business and you will grow!
5. Is there a person you are inspired by, i.e. an entrepreneur or a particular mentor?
Wow, it’s so difficult to pick just one entrepreneur! However, my source of inspiration is the 1st edition of the Catholic University Zimbabwe MBA program. You see, this is a stream of 50 Impact entrepreneurs whom I have watched grow. From owners of business ideas and startups, to fully fledged enterprises and entrepreneurs, it has truly been a marvel to watch. I look to this pool of entrepreneurs for inspiration, guidance and learning. The bigger inspiration in all this is the network of impactful business owners which is being created by E4Impact across the continent. Surely, the future of Africa is in safe hands.
“Healthcare must be accessible from anywhere. We have developed a web based platform where all the services of the clinic can be accessed remotely from anywhere in the Country.”
6.What would you suggest to a new-born entrepreneur?
Embrace failure. There will be lots of it as you start, and even more of it as you grow. There is no better way of learning than through your failures. For every win, there are usually many losses along the way, and that’s fine, don’t give up. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
7. Could you tell us a particular satisfactory moment you had in your entrepreneurial activity?
Well, it must be when the first patient walked into the clinic. We had been open for over a month without a single patient/customer. I was at my lowest and felt like the business was the worst idea ever. I couldn’t even afford lunch, yet alone a receptionist, so I was seated at the reception, half asleep and hungry on a hot afternoon. Then I heard a tap on the reception counter, and there he was, my first customer. I helped him fill-in his forms, received my first payment and wrote my first receipt. I was officially a business owner, with my first payment! It was a satisfying and redeeming moment for me because it restored all the hope I had lost and inspired me to keep pushing. Now, 6000 patients later, whenever I feel down, I always look at that receipt book which always motivates me to strive for more.
8.Could you tell us how the MBA has helped you and your business?
I started the MBA with a small and struggling business. To date, my client base has grown exponentially, by 950%, which is remarkable. I think this alone speaks volumes. The MBA has further provided mentorship, and networks with other entrepreneurs. These are resources which will continue to benefit and grow my business long after completing the MBA. I would recommend the program to any entrepreneur seeking personal and business growth.
Learn more on Men’s Health Clinic Zimbabwe
Facebook Page: @menscliniczimbabwe
Twitter account: @MensClinicZim