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Finsec SMEAZ Local Legends Awards Dinner

Local Legends Awards


The Local Legends Awards are the SME Association of Zimbabwe's year-end ceremony that recognises outstanding performance amongst Premium, Platinum and Affiliate members. Our mission as an organisation is "Growing start-up, small and medium sized enterprises into large corporations" and these awards recognise those businesses that have made major strides in particular areas of growing their businesses. The awards are based on an assessment of progress made over a particular year, and we have so far held the ceremony over three years, 2015/6, 2021 and 2022. The event has grown in stature and recognition with each passing year.

Awarding criteria

Awards are given to members who would have excelled in specific aspects of growing their businesses. The key award categories are:

Main awards

The main awards are for best overall progression registered across all active members. We also award graduation from small to medium, and from medium to large corporation (transition/graduation).

    • Start-up, small and medium enterprise of the year
    • Youth and woman-led enterprise of the year
    • Transition/graduation

Sector awards

Sector/Value chain awards are given to the best overall progress for businesses in the particular sectors or value chains.

Category awards

    • Customer Service
    • Product Quality
    • Branding
    • Accounting & Internal Controls
    • Compliance
    • Risk Management
    • Employee Wellness
    • Corporate Governance
    • Community Impact
    • Innovation
    • Sustainable Business
    • Exporting
    • Self-development
    • Networking

Details on the awarding criteria for the category awards are contained here.

To be eligible to win an award as an SME, you will need to become a paid-up member in the Small, or Medium Enterprise category. Details of membership are contained here.


Each year features a particular theme that will be carried forward into the subsequent year. For the 2022 awards the theme was “Growth & Acceleration Under Uncertainty – Embracing Digital Transformation” and this is the theme that we are running with in 2023. This theme seeks to highlight the importance of maintaining focus and drive towards growth, even under adverse circumstances, and the central role of digitalization in achieving such growth.

Event format

The event is profiled as both an awards ceremony but also an opportunity for networking and celebration of the year passed. Whilst the central activity will be celebration of the winners in the various categories, we also feature guest speakers who  provide valuable insights into how to grow your business.

There are opportunities for marketing slots and brand placements both for our SMEs as well as for main sponsors. Specifics of brand placement opportunities are available on request. You can contact us via Whatsapp by clicking here.


Attendance to the event is open to all, especially SMEs and those who have an interest in the SMEs sector. Corporate tables can also be booked, which will give you the opportunity to also have your banners in the venue. A corporate table will be for 8 people.

Event profile

We market the event primarily through social media platforms as well as within our own network of over 7 000 registered members. The event incorporates our members from Bulawayo, Gweru and other cities and towns. There is high brand visibility for participating sponsors both in the run-up to the event, and at the awards ceremony itself, especially if sponsorship/participation is confirmed early. The main attendees to the event are the SMEs who are members, including top-performing SMEs who will be nominees for the awards, as well as corporate sponsors. Our last event had over 150 attendees and we are expecting more SMEs to attend this year’s event. 


We invite sponsors to join us and strengthen the role of the awards ceremony in encouraging best practice and progression amongst SMEs. There are differing sizes of sponsorship categories to suit everyone. Sponsorship will provide benefits both in terms of the run-up to the event, but also even post-event. This is the only awards ceremony which recognizes upcoming, growing SMEs and therefore brands that are looking to interface with such high performers will do well to associate with the event.

Details are as below:

Main sponsorship category

Our first option is to engage a primary sponsor (Legendary Partner) with whom we can work extensively to develop the concept for the year’s awards. A Legendary Partner will have brand ownership over the event, and will also be featured extensively in our pre- and post-event marketing, as well as at the event itself. A Legendary Partner will need to have at least US$5 000 budgeted for the sponsorship.

Should we not have a Legendary Partner taking up the entire event, we can have Diamond Sponsors who will sponsor the event to the tune of US$2 500 each. We can have a maximum of two Diamond Sponsors taking up the event, or a single Diamond Sponsor and other lower tier sponsors also coming on board. Benefits of sponsorship are available here.

Category Awards Sponsorship

One of the key features of the event is the category sponsorship opportunities. Our award categories are based on specific areas that SMEs need to work on in order to grow their businesses. We have, for example, awards for improvement in compliance, record-keeping, staff welfare, product quality, internal controls, marketing and branding, self-improvement, risk management practices e.t.c

You can therefore pick a category award that is relevant to your line of business. A bank may therefore choose to award the best in compliance (opening bank accounts, registering with tax authorities e.t.c), an insurance company may choose to award the best risk management practices, an accounting firm may choose the internal controls award e.t.c

Category award sponsorship is US$250 per category, and it comes with benefits as shown in the Sponsorship Packages section. There will be a winner, and two runners up per category.

Award adjudication

Award adjudication will be a transparent process involving the Association as well as the award sponsors, where relevant. Our process of assisting members to grow their businesses entails coming up with an Action Plan, which members are then expected to execute over the course of the year. We will therefore shortlist members that would have carried out particular steps that are related to the award category, from which a winner and runners up will be chosen.

The award sponsor will then be involved, together with the Association, in selecting the final winner as well as the runners up. The award sponsor will present their award on the day.

How to secure sponsorship or an award

To secure yourself as a sponsor whether as Legendary Partner, Diamond Sponsor or Category Award Sponsor, kindly contact us via Whatsapp by clicking here. We will require that you pay a non-refundable commitment fee of 20% of the sponsorship amount or $200 (whichever is the lesser), with the remaining balance being due not later than two weeks before the event date.

If you are coming in as Legendary Partner or Diamond Sponsor, we will need to agree on specific details, including payment modalities. Most payments for these categories will be done to specific third-party service providers, according to their requirements.

Please note that you will only be confirmed as a sponsor upon payment of the commitment fee. Category award sponsorship will be given on a first-come-first-served basis.

Past Events

Local Legends Awards 2022

Details for this event are available here. The event was well-attended and featured a guest speaker from Detroit, Michigan as well as Finsec Private Markets as the main sponsor. The recipient for the Local Legends Lifetime Award was Strive Masiyiwa, who was represented by the top local leadership.

Local Legends Awards 2021

The Local Legends Awards 2021 photo gallery is available here. We had as guest of honour the Minister of Women Affairs, Community Development & SMEs, who was also awarded the first Local Legends Lifetime Award. She was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, as well as the Chief Director and Head of Legal Affairs of the Ministry. The top overall winner was Moneymart Finance, with Boardex and Teamview being first and second runners up respectively. The event was oversubscribed, with over 125 guests attending. It was also widely covered in the local media. 

The full list of winners for Local Legends 2021 is available on this page.