Swaziland – Busisiwe Phiri

Date: September 6, 2018
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“Economic empowerment means financial independence.”

The training has helped me with a lot of things but what stands out is being enlighten on the forms of abuse. Having little knowledge of things can really put you in the dark. You tend to ignore things, thinking that what you are facing is normal. Since I started attending Gender Based Violence (GBV) lessons I realized that what I went through was a way beyond having a normal life. I was lucky to be part of this lessons.     

I joined the training in 2014 and attended all three stages. I found it vital for one who wants to start a business to carry out market research. I needed capital to start up my business and to learn about cash flow planning. The percentage of GBV is increasing and I found it wise for women who had faced any kind of abuse to get help as soon as possible.

I have been making school uniforms, tracksuits, and t-shirts. As an individual, I have expanded to selling health products and slaughtered chickens which I sell at my homestead. This lesson came at the right time because I have vast knowledge concerning business and life itself. I thank our municipality for putting us in the light, and I am recognized now as a businesswoman. My target market has increased.

Economic empowerment has led to financial independence which in turn gives you power and therefore minimize or ends the abuse. If you have financial independence you can stand up to your partner without fear of being deprived of any monetary assistance knowing that you can provide for yourself or end the relationship.  

I am now aware of gender based violence and I assist victims get help. I sometimes intervene when I see a community member being victimized. I am able to help other people at my church. This has gotten me respect from my community, and they are eager to start their own businesses because they are seeing change in my lifestyle. Things are not the same anymore.

My changing lifestyle has influenced other women to stand up and take responsibility by creating their own businesses. I have not done much at the moment but I have introduced a forum at community level where we meet as women and discuss our problems and come out with amicable solutions.

As a woman, I will apply the skills I got to my existing business. I acquired the vital knowledge of having a valid business plan. I will keep on looking for more business opportunities and find ways to improve the existing one or end it if it is not viable. I wish to be one of the best entrepreneurs in the society. For every transaction that takes place I will have a full record of it, because I know about cash flow.