Letisia Mutilifa – Namibia

Letisia Mutilifa – Namibia


Date: November 17, 2015
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Lyabitita tailoring is a way to make a living

“My business is small but it has changed my life”

Letisia Mutilifa is a single mother of five who runs a tailoring business in Otavi. She is happy that she owns this type of business because she is unemployed but has to take care of a family. She says that despite the fact that her business is small she is satisfied with it and the income she is getting. Her business makes dresses, skirts and shirts and sells to the people in the community. These are the potential customers. She says she operates from her house because she does not have enough money to rent a building but the business is progressing very well and there are more customers.

Letisia acknowledges that her life has totally changed because she can afford to buy food, send her children to school, and pay for water and electricity. She maintains that she is now managing her own life without depending on someone else as she did before. She says that the Gender Links (GL) training has improved her business skills and helped her to realise the importance of owning a bank account. Letisia says that she now has two separate bank accounts for business and a personal account. She says the training process helped her not to mix the money saved in each of these accounts.

She thanked Gender Links for introducing the training to her and teaching her aspects of business such as marketing, planning and stock controlling. Currently she operates her business from home because there is a change in terms of acquiring business premises and rent is expensive.

Ms Mutilifa’s business is still small and she manages it alone even though she plans to employ two people to manage the existing workload. She acknowledges that her business has the potential for growth and she is planning to take a loan to increase its productivity. She feels that with adequate know-how she will make things happen the way she has planned.

By growing up in Otavi and understanding the business atmosphere of the place, Letisia says she is ready to grow her agency and she is also prepared to address any external effects that might hold the business back. Her business is not yet registered with the relevant authorities such as the ministry of trade and industry, ministry of finance and the social security commission. Letisia claims that through her communication skills she has managed to market her products through local radio and send smses and through word of mouth more customers are forthcoming to support the business.

Letisia is convinced that she was privileged to be part of Gender Links entrepreneurship training, especially phase 1 and 2 where she was taught how to write a business plan, budgeting, record keeping and market research. She says that the skills she received contributed tremendously to the growth of her business and also the way things are handled. She says profit is increasing and her creativity is promising.

She is a driver of change because she lived through the scars of gender based violence to become a successful entrepreneur with the knowledge and skills gained from GL training programmes. She is an example to many community women and her future plan is to empower other women with sewing skills and encourage people in her community to respond and report acts of gender based violence to the relevant authorities. She intends to educate women about the cause of GBV.

Letisia’s most memorable experience was when she started her business because she never realised that it would grow and change her life.

 


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