Rosa Pita Joaque – Mozambique

Rosa Pita Joaque – Mozambique

Date: October 21, 2015
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From a helpless house wife to a creative entrepreneur

Thanks to Gender Links training and her innovative mind, today Rosa Pita owns a place where she cooks and sells food.

Rosa Pita Joaque was a happily married woman with six children.

In 1995 her husband told her he was going to Beira to look for better conditions for the family, but he never came back. After her husband’s disappearance, life got worse by the day, because she was under educated, jobless and had 6 children to care for. Without expecting it she was now the leader of the family. Being a mother without a husband is very difficult in her culture. Without a job or someone to count on and with society judging her, her life was a living nightmare. Despite all the negative things people told her, Rosa new that her kids needed her, so she started selling cakes and cool drinks to sustain her family.

At that time she did not have what it takes to run a business. The small business she had was “okay” to give the family just enough to get through the day. In 2001 she got a job at a local restaurant, she worked as a receptionist while running her business on the side.

In 2003 the owner of the restaurant decided to close it, leaving her reliant on her business only. She lived like that for a long time, until 2014 when she was chosen to join a group of women as part of Gender Links’ entrepreneurship programme. Although it was hard at the beginning, when she had to remember all the things she had been through with her kids, like the discrimination she suffered being a single mother. From the second time she had contact with GL she started to become more open and comfortable with her past because she gained the strength to restart and make her life better.

According to Rosa Pita, Gender Links came as a gift from heaven, it taught her a lot about human rights, gender and business. After the training, she did market research and realised she could start selling food to people who worked nearby and did not have time to go home at lunch time or could not afford to eat in a restaurant, so she put together a business plan. Thanks to GL training and her innovative mind, today she owns a place where she cooks and sells food in the market.

Now she knows how to keep a register of everything that comes in and goes out of the store and in that way she is aware of the expenses and income of her business. She has two bank accounts, she can pay social security and most importantly, she is able to keep the children’s school fees up to date.

One of the challenges she observed in her community was that they did not have an internet café for the students to do research after school; the closest one was in Macia which is 33 km from Bilene. The IT training that GL provided her helped her realise that she could do more with her new skills, so she decided to use some of the profit she got from the business at the market to pay for an IT course for her older son. In that way she was able to open a local internet café “Tecnoforma Bilene” which she runs with the help of her son and she also sells Zap and GO TV decoders.

Together with her son, Rosa also opened a salon and is also planning to grow and sell chickens.

Rosa Pita’s businesses are going so well that she had the opportunity to represent Bilene at the National Summit in Maputo, where she won the emerging entrepreneurs category. This served as a passport to the Regional Summit in Botswana, where she learned a lot from other participants doing the same type of business.

Her trip to Botswana opened Rosa’s mind to another great opportunity. She proposed that the council open a factory to process and package sardines and tomato to take advantage of the local resources, as well as to help develop the council and employ more people, especially woman.

Rosa Pita would like someone to invest 100.000,00 Mt (=R30.000) in her business so that she can build a bigger space for her business and in the future she wishes to buy a car to help the business and the family, and maybe one day open her own restaurant.


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