Zambia: A survivor’s surviving business

Zambia: A survivor’s surviving business

Date: June 4, 2015
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Lusaka, 4 June: Very often when Gender Based Violence (GBV) survivors shy away from the public because they think of themselves as incapable of achieving any skill to improve their lives and become independent.

However, this is not the case with Joyce*- an emerging entrepreneur in the central province of Zambia. She engages in the farming of vegetables such as tomatoes, butternut, okra, cucumber, green beans, Green pepper, egg plants and onions. Joyce also sells fruit such as oranges, bananas, strawberries, guavas, mangoes, pawpaw and watermelons which she farms herself. She gets orders from her customers around the area and provides them with what they need. “At the moment I don’t have bigger competitors because many people in my area have not taken fruit and vegetable farming so seriously,” she said.

Joyce started her farming business with no training, but is a beneficiary of the Gender Links entrepreneurship training which is aimed at survivors of GBV to empower them to become financially independent. She said the training has contributed to the success of the business venture, which she presented at the SADC Gender Protocol@Work Summit held in Lusaka at Cresta Golfview Hotel, last week.

Joyce stresses that her technical skills, market research, budgeting, pricing, record keeping, and networking help her run a successful business. “Because of the knowledge I acquired from Gender Links, I plan before starting up a business and I do budgeting so as to know the total amount required as my capital. I do networking in order to make my products and services known to my customers,” she said.

Joyce hopes to expand her farming business by 2016 so she can contribute to the nation’s development. “I want to involve myself in other forms of business like welding and opening up a studio so I can increase my income,” she said. Joyce added that her mission statement is to provide competitively priced and quality vegetables and fruits to meet customers’ needs.

She is a proud entrepreneur with a surviving business which she started with money she begged from relatives. Joyce has now managed to buy two cows and is constructing a house for herself.

Joyce*- Not her real name

This article is part of the Gender Links News Service’ coverage of the SADC Gender Protocol@Work Summits currently taking place across the region, bringing you fresh views on everyday news.


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