Zimbabwe – Francisca Machayasimbi

Date: September 20, 2018
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“Now able to assist relatives financially”

Francisca Machayasimbi is a 29 year old woman who is a survivor of gender based violence. She had two children, a boy and a girl from her previous marriage.

When she got married to her husband she moved in to his parents’ home with him. Her in-laws despised her, regarding her as inferior to their son. Her husband took his parents’ side and turned against her.

When they failed to resolve the issue it got worse and they separated. Machayasimbi left with her two children. As she was hustling to establish a source of income for herself and the children an idea occurred to her. She realised that people who visit the local clinic were in need of cotton materials and methylated spirits which were in short supply at the health institution. She managed to raise US$ 260 through that trade. She also established a vending stall at the school entrance selling food stuffs to the school children and her business boomed and she realised US$ 360.

Machayasimbi used her savings to set up a tuck-shop trading in groceries and second hand clothes so as to survive. Her relatives helped her to set up her tuck-shop and she was glad that she managed to set up her own business through hard work. Several problems threatened the continuing existence of her business, ranging from finance and managerial know-how to unfair competition.

When her business was on the verge of collapsing she encountered Gender Links and benefited through the entrepreneurship programme. The entrepreneurial skills she obtained rescued her business from collapse and took it to the next level of production. She implemented the newly acquired skills and the business grew and started realising significant profits.

The business is still small and she is looking for financial aid so that she can realise the results she desires. Nevertheless, the financial freedom she now has brought social development into her life. She managed to furnish her house and she can now afford to meet her basic needs and most importantly, trendy clothes so as to look presentable in public.

Flora is now taking care of the extended family as her relatives rely on her for survival. The entire community directly benefits from her because she buys in bulk and makes goods affordable to the low income earners in the community.

Going forward, Flora has plans to develop her tuck-shop into a fully established grocery shop or a wholesale store. FC Tuck-shop is now a trademark in her community and she gives credit to GL because it is the organisation that empowered her with entrepreneurship skills that brought significant changes to her personal life and the entire community.